[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 74 (Monday, April 18, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 22809-22909]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-08163]



[[Page 22809]]

Vol. 81

Monday,

No. 74

April 18, 2016

Part III





Environmental Protection Agency





-----------------------------------------------------------------------





40 CFR Part 82





 Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Proposed New Listings of 
Substitutes; Changes of Listing Status; and Reinterpretation of 
Unacceptability for Closed Cell Foam Products Under the Significant New 
Alternatives Policy Program; and Revision of Clean Air Act Section 608 
Venting Prohibition for Propane; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 22810]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663; FRL-9941-84-OAR]
RIN 2060-AS80


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Proposed New Listings of 
Substitutes; Changes of Listing Status; and Reinterpretation of 
Unacceptability for Closed Cell Foam Products Under the Significant New 
Alternatives Policy Program; and Revision of Clean Air Act Section 608 
Venting Prohibition for Propane

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 
Significant New Alternatives Policy program, this action proposes to 
list a number of substances as acceptable, subject to use conditions; 
to list several substances as unacceptable; and to modify the listing 
status for certain substances from acceptable to acceptable, subject to 
narrowed use limits, or to unacceptable. Specifically, this action 
proposes to list as acceptable, subject to use restrictions, propane 
and HFO-1234yf in the refrigeration and air conditioning, and 2-bromo-
3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene in the fire suppression and explosion 
protection sectors; to list as unacceptable certain hydrocarbons and 
hydrocarbon blends in specific end-uses in the refrigeration and air 
conditioning sector; and to modify the listing status for certain high-
global warming potential alternatives for certain end-uses in the 
refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing, and fire suppression 
and explosion protection sectors. This action also proposes to exempt 
propane in certain refrigeration end-uses from the Clean Air Act 
section 608 prohibition on venting, release, or disposal on the basis 
of current evidence that its venting, release, or disposal does not 
pose a threat to the environment. In addition, this action proposes to 
apply unacceptability determinations for foam-blowing agents to closed 
cell foam products and products containing closed cell foam that are 
manufactured or imported using these foam-blowing agents. This action 
also proposes to clarify the listing for Powdered Aerosol D (Stat-
X[supreg]), which is currently listed as both acceptable and acceptable 
subject to use conditions, by removing the listing as acceptable 
subject to use conditions.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 2, 2016. Any party 
requesting a public hearing must notify the contact listed below under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on May 
3, 2016. If a hearing is held, it will take place on or about May 18, 
2016 in Washington, DC and further information will be provided on 
EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Web site at www.epa.gov/ozone/snap.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2015-0663, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA 
may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit 
electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be 
accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the 
official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish 
to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents 
located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or 
other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full 
EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia 
submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please 
visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chenise Farquharson, Stratospheric 
Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (Mail Code 6205 T), 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-7768; email address: 
[email protected]. Notices and rulemakings under EPA's 
Significant New Alternatives Policy program are available on EPA's 
Stratospheric Ozone Web site at www.epa.gov/snap/snap-regulations.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. General Information
    A. Executive Summary
    B. Does this action apply to me?
    C. What acronyms and abbreviations are used in the preamble?
II. How does the SNAP program work?
    A. What are the statutory requirements and authority for the 
SNAP program?
    B. What are EPA's regulations implementing CAA section 612?
    C. How do the regulations for the SNAP program work?
    D. What are the guiding principles of the SNAP program?
    E. What are EPA's criteria for evaluating substitutes under the 
SNAP program?
    F. How are SNAP determinations updated?
    G. What does EPA consider in deciding whether to modify the 
listing status of an alternative?
    H. Where can I get additional information about the SNAP 
program?
III. What actions and information related to greenhouse gases have 
bearing on this proposed action?
IV. What petitions has EPA received requesting a change in listing 
status for HFCs?
    A. Summary of Petitions
    B. How This Action Relates to the Climate Action Plan and 
Petitions
V. How does EPA regulate substitute refrigerants under CAA section 
608?
    A. What are the statutory requirements concerning venting, 
release, or disposal of refrigerants and refrigerant substitutes 
under CAA section 608?
    B. What are EPA's regulations concerning venting, release, or 
disposal of refrigerant substitutes?
    C. What did EPA recently propose regarding management of 
refrigerant substitutes under CAA section 608?
VI. What is EPA proposing in this action?
    A. Retail Food Refrigeration and Stationary AC
    1. Proposed Listing of Propane as Acceptable, Subject to Use 
Conditions, for Commercial Ice Machines, Water Coolers, and Very Low 
Temperature Refrigeration Equipment
    a. What are the affected end-uses?
    b. How does propane compare to other refrigerants for these end-
uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    c. What are the proposed use conditions?
    d. What recommendations does EPA have for the safe use of 
propane?
    e. When would the listing apply?
    f. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    g. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    2. Proposed Exemption for Propane From the Venting Prohibition 
Under CAA Section 608 for the End-Uses in the Proposed New SNAP 
Listing
    a. What is EPA's proposal regarding whether venting of propane 
in the end-uses in this action would pose a threat to the 
environment?
    b. What is EPA's proposal regarding whether venting of propane 
in the end-uses in this action should be exempted from the venting 
prohibition under CAA section 608?
    c. When would the exemption from the venting prohibition apply?
    d. What is the relationship between this proposed exemption 
under CAA section 608 and other EPA rules?
    e. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    3. Proposed Listing of New Refrigerants as Unacceptable

[[Page 22811]]

    a. Proposed Listing of Certain Flammable Refrigerants as 
Unacceptable for Retrofits in Unitary Split AC Systems and Heat 
Pumps
    i. What is the affected end-use?
    ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to 
other refrigerants for these end-uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    iv. When would the listings apply?
    v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    b. Proposed Listing of Propylene and R-443A as Unacceptable for 
New Residential and Light Commercial AC and Heat Pumps, Cold Storage 
Warehouses, and Centrifugal and Positive Displacement Chillers
    i. What are the affected end-uses?
    ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to 
other refrigerants for these end-uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    iv. When would the listings apply?
    v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    4. Proposed Changes in Listing Status
    a. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for 
New Centrifugal Chillers
    i. What is the affected end-use?
    ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to 
other refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    iv. What narrowed use limits for military marine vessels and 
human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment is EPA 
proposing?
    v. When would the status change?
    vi. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    vii. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    b. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for 
New Positive Displacement Chillers
    i. What is the affected end-use?
    ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to 
other refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    iv. What narrowed use limits for military marine vessels and 
human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment is EPA 
proposing?
    v. When would the status change?
    vi. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    vii. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    c. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for 
New Cold Storage Warehouses
    i. What is the affected end-use?
    ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to 
other refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    iv. When would the status change?
    v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    e. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for 
New Household Refrigerators and Freezers
    i. What is the affected end-use?
    ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to 
other refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    iv. When would the status change?
    v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    B. Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning
    1. Proposed Listing of HFO-1234yf as Acceptable, Subject to Use 
Conditions, for Newly Manufactured MVAC Systems
    2. What is the affected end-use?
    3. How does HFO-1234yf compare to other refrigerants for these 
MVAC applications with respect to SNAP criteria?
    4. What are the proposed use conditions?
    5. When would the listing apply?
    6. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    7. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    C. Foam Blowing Agents
    1. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Foam Blowing Agents 
for Rigid PU Spray Foam
    a. What is the affected end-use?
    b. Which foam blowing agents is EPA proposing to list as 
unacceptable?
    c. How do the proposed unacceptable blowing agents compare to 
other blowing agents for these applications with respect to SNAP 
criteria?
    d. What narrowed use limits for military or space- and 
aeronautics-related applications is EPA proposing?
    e. When would the status change?
    f. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    g. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    2. Proposed Revision To Change of Status Date of Certain HFCs 
and HFC Blends for Space- and Aeronautics-Related Foam Applications
    a. What are the affected end-uses?
    b. Which foam blowing agents are affected?
    c. When would the status change?
    d. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    e. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    3. Proposed Change of Status for Methylene Chloride in Flexible 
PU, Integral Skin PU, and Polyolefin Foams
    a. What are the affected end-uses?
    b. How does methylene chloride compare to other blowing agents 
for these end-uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    c. When would the status change?
    d. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    e. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    4. Proposed Application of Listings to Foam Products
    a. What are the affected end-uses?
    b. How would this proposal change the treatment of foam products 
under SNAP?
    c. How do other stratospheric ozone protection requirements 
apply to foam products?
    d. How is EPA reexamining treatment of foam products under SNAP?
    e. When would use of closed cell foam products with unacceptable 
blowing agents be unacceptable?
    f. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    D. Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection
    1. Proposed Listing of 2-Bromo-3,3,3-Trifluoropropene (2-BTP) as 
Acceptable, Subject to Use Conditions, for Total Flooding and 
Streaming
    a. What are the affected end-uses?
    b. How does 2-BTP compare to other fire suppressants for these 
end-uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    c. What are the proposed use conditions?
    d. What further information is EPA providing in the acceptable, 
subject to use conditions, listing for 2-BTP?
    e. When would the listing apply?
    f. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    g. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    2. Proposed Change of Status for Certain Perfluorocarbons
    a. What is the affected end-use?
    b. Which fire suppressants is EPA proposing to list as 
unacceptable?
    c. How do the proposed unacceptable fire suppressants compare to 
other fire suppressants for this end-use with respect to SNAP 
criteria?
    d. When would the status change?
    e. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and 
other federal rules?
    f. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    3. Proposed Removal of Powdered Aerosol D in Total Flooding From 
the List of Substitutes Acceptable for Use Subject to Use Conditions
VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
    B. Paperwork Reduction Act
    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

[[Page 22812]]

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments
    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From 
Environmental Health and Safety Risks
    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use
    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) and 
1 CFR part 51
    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations
VIII. References

I. General Information

A. Executive Summary

    Under section 612 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA is required to 
evaluate substitutes \1\ to ozone-depleting substances (ODS) for their 
risks to human health and the environment. EPA reviews substitutes 
within a comparative risk framework. More specifically, section 612 
provides that EPA must prohibit the use of a substitute where EPA has 
determined that there are other alternatives that pose less overall 
risk to human health and the environment. Thus, EPA's Significant New 
Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, which implements section 612, does 
not provide a static list of alternatives. Instead, the program evolves 
the list as EPA makes decisions informed by our overall understanding 
of the environmental and human health impacts as well as our current 
knowledge about other alternatives. In the more than twenty years since 
the initial SNAP rule was promulgated, EPA has modified the SNAP lists 
many times, most often by expanding the list of acceptable substitutes. 
However, in some cases, the SNAP list has been modified by listing a 
substitute as unacceptable for one or more end-uses or by restricting 
the use of a previously listed substitute by changing its status for a 
particular end-use to unacceptable, acceptable subject to use 
conditions, or acceptable subject to narrowed use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The terms ``alternatives'' and ``substitutes'' are used 
interchangeably in this document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the decades since ODS were first invented in the 1920s, American 
consumers relied on products using ODS for diverse uses including 
aerosols, air conditioning, insulation, solvent cleaning, and fire 
protection. The agreement by governments to phase out production of ODS 
under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 
led to inevitable questions about whether suitable alternatives could 
be found in all cases, and in the larger sense, about how to limit 
negative societal impacts from use of alternatives.
    Over the past twenty years, the SNAP program has played an 
important role in assisting with a continuous smooth transition to 
safer alternatives, by addressing in concrete and highly technical 
terms, end-use by end-use, these myriad issues. From the first SNAP 
framework rule published in 1994, which provided confidence and 
certainty by identifying safer alternatives in key consumer and 
industrial uses, the SNAP program has continued to ensure that 
businesses and consumers have access to information about suitable 
alternatives. The SNAP program works with many stakeholders, 
domestically and abroad, to continuously evaluate and provide updates 
on safer alternatives and new technologies. Thanks to these efforts and 
the work of individuals, businesses, and organizations, the transitions 
generally have been successful. Perhaps the best evidence of the 
program's success has been the lack of fanfare with which so many 
important consumer and industrial uses have moved to adopt safer SNAP-
listed alternatives. When reviewing a substitute, EPA compares the risk 
posed by that substitute to the risks posed by other alternatives and 
determines whether that specific substitute under review poses 
significantly more risk than other alternatives for the same use. EPA 
recently has begun to review the lists in a broader manner to determine 
whether substitutes added to the lists early in the program pose 
significantly more risk than substitutes that have more recently been 
added. As with initial listing decisions, decisions to change the 
status of an already listed alternative are based on applying our 
comparative risk framework.
    Global warming potential (GWP) is one of several criteria EPA 
considers in the overall evaluation of the alternatives under the SNAP 
program. The President's June 2013 Climate Action Plan (CAP) \2\ states 
that, ``to reduce emissions of HFCs, the United States can and will 
lead both through international diplomacy as well as domestic 
actions.'' Furthermore, the CAP states that EPA will ``use its 
authority through the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program to 
encourage private sector investment in low-emissions technology by 
identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals while prohibiting 
certain uses of the most harmful chemical alternatives.'' On July 20, 
2015 (80 FR 42870), EPA issued a final regulation that was our first 
effort to take a broader look at the SNAP lists, where we focused on 
those listed substitutes that have a high GWP relative to other 
alternatives in specific end-uses, while otherwise posing comparable 
levels of risk.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The White House, 2013. President's Climate Action Plan. This 
document is accessible at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this action, EPA is proposing to list a number of substances as 
acceptable, subject to use restrictions; to list several substances as 
unacceptable; and to modify the listing status for certain substances 
from acceptable to unacceptable. We performed a comparative risk 
analysis, based on our criteria for review, with other alternatives for 
the relevant end-uses. For particular substances, EPA found significant 
potential differences in risk with respect to one or more specific 
criteria, such as flammability, toxicity, or local air quality 
concerns, while otherwise posing comparable levels of risk to those of 
other alternatives in specific end-uses. EPA is also proposing that the 
existing listing decisions for foam blowing agents apply to closed cell 
foam products and products containing closed cell foam. See section 
VI.C.4 for the details of this proposal. Additionally, EPA is proposing 
to list propane (R-290) as acceptable, subject to use conditions, as a 
refrigerant in new self-contained commercial ice machines, in new water 
coolers, and in new very low temperature refrigeration equipment. EPA 
is proposing to exempt propane in these end-uses from the venting 
prohibition under CAA section 608(c)(2). See section VI.A.2.a, ``What 
is EPA's proposal regarding whether venting of propane in the end-uses 
in this action would pose a threat to the environment?'' for the 
details of this proposal.
    Per the guiding principles of the SNAP program, this action does 
not specify that any alternative is acceptable or unacceptable across 
all sectors and end-uses. Instead, in all cases, EPA considered the 
intersection between the specific alternative and the particular end-
use and the availability of substitutes for those particular end-uses. 
In the case of refrigeration and air conditioning (AC), we consider new 
equipment to be a separate end-use from retrofitting existing equipment 
with a different refrigerant from that for which the equipment was 
originally designed. EPA is not setting a ``risk threshold'' for any 
specific SNAP criterion, such that the only acceptable substitutes pose 
risk

[[Page 22813]]

below a specified level of risk. Because the substitutes available and 
the types of risk they may pose vary by sector and end-use and under 
the SNAP comparative risk framework, our review focuses on the specific 
end-use and the alternatives for that end-use, including the other 
risks alternatives might pose. Thus, there is no bright line that can 
be established. Also, EPA recognizes that there are a range of 
substitutes with various uses that include both fluorinated (e.g., 
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs)) and non-
fluorinated (e.g., hydrocarbons (HCs), carbon dioxide (CO2)) 
substitutes that may pose lower overall risk to human health and the 
environment. Consistent with CAA section 612 as we have historically 
interpreted it under the SNAP program, EPA is proposing both initial 
listings and certain modifications to the current lists based on our 
evaluation of the substitutes addressed in this action using the SNAP 
criteria for evaluation and considering the current suite of other 
alternatives for the specific end-use at issue.
1. Proposed Acceptable Alternatives, With Use Conditions, by End-Use 
(Initial Listings)
    (1) For refrigeration, we are proposing to list as acceptable, 
subject to use conditions, as of 30 days after publication of a final 
rule
     Propane in new commercial ice machines, new water coolers, 
and new very low temperature refrigeration equipment.
    (2) For motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) systems, we are 
proposing to list, as acceptable, subject to use conditions, as of 30 
days after publication of a final rule
     HFO-1234yf in newly manufactured medium-duty passenger 
vehicles (MDPVs), heavy-duty (HD) pickup trucks, and complete HD vans.
    (3) For fire suppression and explosion protection end-uses, we are 
proposing to list as acceptable, subject to use conditions, as of 30 
days after publication of a final rule
     2-BTP as a total flooding agent for use in engine nacelles 
and auxiliary power units (APUs) on aircraft; and
     2-BTP as a streaming agent for use in handheld 
extinguishers in aircraft.
2. Proposed Unacceptable Alternatives by End-Use (Initial Listings)
    (1) For retrofit residential and light commercial AC and heat 
pumps--unitary split AC systems and heat pumps, we are proposing to 
list as unacceptable, as of 30 days after publication of a final rule
     All refrigerants identified as flammability Class 3 in 
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of 
Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 
34-2013; and
     All refrigerants meeting the criteria for flammability 
Class 3 in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013. These include, but are not 
limited to, refrigerant products sold under the names R-22a, 22a, Blue 
Sky 22a refrigerant, Coolant Express 22a, DURACOOL-22a, EC-22, 
Ecofreeeze EF-22a, EF-22a, Envirosafe 22a, ES-22a, Frost 22a, HC-22a, 
Maxi-Fridge, MX-22a, Oz-Chill 22a, Priority Cool, and RED TEK 22a.
    (2) For new residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps, 
cold storage warehouses, centrifugal chillers, and positive 
displacement chillers, we are proposing to list as unacceptable, as of 
30 days after publication of a final rule
     Propylene and R-443A.
3. Proposed Change of Listing Status by End-Use:
    (1) For new centrifugal chillers, we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable, except as otherwise allowed under a narrowed use limit, 
as of January 1, 2024
     FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, HFC-236fa, HFC-245fa, 
R-125/134a/600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), 
R-404A, R-407C, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, 
R-423A, R-424A, R-434A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition), and 
THR-03.
    (2) For new positive displacement chillers, we are proposing to 
list as unacceptable, except as otherwise allowed under a narrowed use 
limit, as of January 1, 2024
     FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/134a/600a 
(28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, 
R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-434A, 
R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition), SP34E, and THR-03.
    (3) For new centrifugal chillers, we are proposing to list as 
acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, as of January 1, 2024
     HFC-134a for military marine vessels and HFC-134a and R-
404A for human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment
    (4) For new positive displacement chillers, we are proposing to 
list as acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, as of January 1, 
2024
     HFC-134a for military marine vessels and HFC-134a and R-
404A for human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment
    (5) For new cold storage warehouses, we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable, as of January 1, 2023
     HFC-227ea, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-
404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, 
R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-423A, R-424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-438A, R-507A, 
and RS-44 (2003 composition).
    (6) For new retail food refrigeration (refrigerated food processing 
and dispensing equipment), we are proposing to list as unacceptable, as 
of January 1, 2021
     HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), 
R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, 
R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, 
R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 formulation).
    (7) For new household refrigerators and freezers, we are proposing 
to list as unacceptable, as of January 1, 2021
     FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/
1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, 
R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-434A, 
R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 
formulation), SP34E, and THR-03.
    (8) For rigid polyurethane (PU) high-pressure two-component spray 
foam, we are proposing to list as unacceptable for all uses, except 
military or space- and aeronautics-related applications, as of January 
1, 2020; as acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, for military or 
space- and aeronautics-related applications, as of January 1, 2020; and 
as unacceptable for military or space- and aeronautics-related 
applications as of January 1, 2025
     HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; blends of HFC-
365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa, and commercial blends of 
HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
365mfc; and Formacel TI.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Closed cell foam products and products containing closed 
cell foams manufactured on or before January 1, 2020, may be used 
after that date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (9) For rigid PU low-pressure two-component spray foam, we are 
proposing to list as unacceptable for all uses, except military or 
space- aeronautics-related applications, as of January 1, 2021; as 
acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, for military or space- 
aeronautics-related applications,

[[Page 22814]]

as of January 1, 2021; and as unacceptable for military or space- 
aeronautics-related applications as of January 1, 2025
     HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; blends of HFC-
365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa, and commercial blends of 
HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
365mfc; and Formacel TI.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Closed cell foam products and products containing closed 
cell foams manufactured on or before January 1, 2021, may be used 
after that date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (10) For rigid PU one-component foam sealants, we are proposing to 
list as unacceptable, as of January 1, 2020
     HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; blends of HFC-
365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa, and commercial blends of 
HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
365mfc; and Formacel TI.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Closed cell foam products and products containing closed 
cell foams manufactured on or before January 1, 2020, may be used 
after that date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (11) For all foam blowing end-uses except for rigid PU spray foam, 
we are proposing for all HFCs and HFC blends previously listed as 
unacceptable for space- aeronautics-related applications as of January 
1, 2022 that
     These HFCs and HFC blends would be unacceptable for space- 
aeronautics-related applications as of January 1, 2025.
    (12) For flexible PU foam applications, we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable, as of 30 days after publication of a final rule
     Methylene chloride.
    (13) For integral skin PU foam applications, we are proposing to 
list as unacceptable, as of January 1, 2017
     Methylene chloride.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Closed cell foam products and products containing closed 
cell foams manufactured on or before January 1, 2017, may be used 
after that date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (14) For polyolefin foam applications, we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable, as of January 1, 2020
     Methylene chloride.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Closed cell foam products and products containing closed 
cell foams manufactured on or before January 1, 2020, may be used 
after that date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (15) For fire suppression total flooding uses, we are proposing to 
list as unacceptable, as of one year after publication of a final rule
     Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) (C3F8 and 
C4F10).
4. Other Changes
    (1) For all foam blowing end-uses, we are proposing to prohibit
     Use of closed cell foam products and products that contain 
closed cell foam manufactured with an unacceptable foam blowing agent 
on or after the later of (1) one year after publication of a final rule 
or (2) the date of the unacceptability listing.
    (2) For fire suppression and explosion protection total flooding 
end-use, we are proposing to clarify the listing for Powdered Aerosol D 
(Stat-X[supreg]), which is currently listed as both ``acceptable'' and 
``acceptable subject to use conditions,'' by removing the listing as 
``acceptable subject to use conditions,'' as of 30 days after 
publication of a final rule.

B. Does this action apply to me?

    Potential entities that may be affected by this proposed rule 
include:

  Table 1--Potentially Regulated Entities by North American Industrial
                   Classification System (NAICS) Code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Description of regulated
       Category           NAICS Code                entities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Construction..........          238210  Alarm System (E.G., Fire,
                                         Burglar), Electric,
                                         Installation Only.
Industry..............          238220  Plumbing, Heating, And Air
                                         Conditioning Contractors.
Industry..............          325199  All Other Basic Organic Chemical
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............          325412  Pharmaceutical Preparation
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............          325520  Adhesive Manufacturing.
Industry..............          325998  All Other Miscellaneous Chemical
                                         Product and Preparation
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............          326150  Urethane and Other Foam Product
                                         (Except Polystyrene)
                                         Manufacturing.
Manufacturing.........          332919  Nozzles, Firefighting,
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............          333415  Manufacturers of Refrigerators,
                                         Freezers, and Other
                                         Refrigerating or Freezing
                                         Equipment, Electric or Other
                                         (NESOI); Heat Pumps Not
                                         Elsewhere Specified or
                                         Included; and Parts Thereof.
Industry..............          333415  Air Conditioning and Warm Air
                                         Heating Equipment and
                                         Commercial and Industrial
                                         Refrigeration Equipment
                                         Manufacturing.
Manufacturing.........          334290  Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............          335222  Household Refrigerator and Home
                                         Freezer Manufacturing.
Industry..............          336120  Heavy Duty Truck Manufacturing.
Industry..............          336211  Motor Vehicle Body
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............            3363  Motor Vehicle Parts
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............            3364  Aerospace Product and Parts
                                         Manufacturing.
Manufacturing.........          336411  Aircraft Manufacturing.
Manufacturing.........          336413  Other Aircraft Parts and
                                         Auxiliary Equipment
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............          336992  Military Armored Vehicle, Tank,
                                         and Tank Component
                                         Manufacturing.
Industry..............          339113  Surgical Appliance and Supplies
                                         Manufacturing.
Manufacturing.........          339999  Fire Extinguishers, Portable,
                                         Manufacturing.
Retail................          423620  Household Appliances, Electric
                                         Housewares, and Consumer
                                         Electronics Merchant
                                         Wholesalers.
Retail................          423740  Refrigeration Equipment and
                                         Supplies Merchant Wholesalers.
Retail................          423930  Recyclable Material Merchant
                                         Wholesalers.
Retail................          443111  Appliance Stores: Household-
                                         Type.
Retail................           44511  Supermarkets and Other Grocery
                                         (Except Convenience) Stores.
Retail................          445110  Supermarkets and Other Grocery
                                         (Except Convenience) Stores.
Retail................          445120  Convenience Stores.
Retail................           44521  Meat Markets.
Retail................           44522  Fish and Seafood Markets.
Retail................           44523  Fruit and Vegetable Markets.
Retail................          445291  Baked Goods Stores.
Retail................          445292  Confectionary and Nut Stores.
Retail................          445299  All Other Specialty Food Stores.
Retail................            4453  Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores.

[[Page 22815]]

 
Retail................          446110  Pharmacies and Drug Stores.
Retail................           44711  Gasoline Stations With
                                         Convenience Stores.
Retail................          452910  Warehouse Clubs and
                                         Supercenters.
Retail................          452990  All Other General Merchandise
                                         Stores.
Services..............           72111  Hotels (Except Casino Hotels)
                                         and Motels.
Services..............           72112  Casino Hotels.
Retail................           72241  Drinking Places (Alcoholic
                                         Beverages).
Retail................          722513  Limited-Service Restaurants.
Retail................          722514  Cafeterias, Grill Buffets, and
                                         Buffets.
Retail................          722515  Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage
                                         Bars.
Services..............           81119  Other Automotive Repair and
                                         Maintenance.
Services..............          811412  Appliance Repair and
                                         Maintenance.
Services..............          922160  Fire Protection.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this 
action. This table lists the types of entities that EPA is now aware 
could potentially be regulated by this action. Other types of entities 
not listed in the table could also be regulated. To determine whether 
your entity is regulated by this action, you should carefully examine 
the applicability criteria found in 40 CFR part 82. If you have 
questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular 
entity, consult the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section.

C. What acronyms and abbreviations are used in the preamble?

    Below is a list of acronyms and abbreviations used in the preamble 
of this document:

AIHA--American Industrial Hygiene Association
AC--Air Conditioning
ACGIH--American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
ACH--Changes Per Hour
ASRAC--Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee
AEGL--Acute Emergency Guideline Limits
AHRI--Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute
AIRAH--Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and 
Heating
ANSI--American National Standards Institute
APU--Auxiliary Power Unit
ASHRAE--American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-
Conditioning Engineers
BTU--British Thermal Units
CAA--Clean Air Act
CAP--Climate Action Plan
CAS Reg. No.--Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Identification 
Number
CBI--Confidential Business Information
CFC--Chlorofluorocarbon
CFR--Code of Federal Regulations
CH4--Methane
CMAQ--Community Multiscale Air Quality
CO2--Carbon Dioxide
CO2eq--Carbon Dioxide Equivalent
CUAC--Commercial Unitary Air Conditioner
CUHP--Commercial Unitary Heat Pump
DOE--United States Department of Energy
DX--Direct Expansion
EEAP--Environmental Effects Assessment Panel
EIA--Environmental Investigation Agency
EO--Executive Order
EPA--United States Environmental Protection Agency
EU--European Union
FCA--Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
FMEA--Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
FAA--Federal Aviation Administration
FR--Federal Register
FTA--Fault Tree Analysis
GHG--Greenhouse Gas
GtCO2eq--Gigatonnes of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent
GWP--Global Warming Potential
GVWR--Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
HBFC--Hydrobromofluorocarbon
HC--Hydrocarbon
HCFC--Hydrochlorofluorocarbon
HD--Heavy-Duty
HD GHG--Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas
HF--Hydrogen Fluoride
HFC--Hydrofluorocarbon
HFO--Hydrofluoroolefin
HTOC--Halons Technical Options Committee
ICAO-- International Civil Aviation Organization
ICF--ICF International, Inc.
IGSD--Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development
IEC--International Electrochemical Commission
IPCC--Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPR--Industrial Process Refrigeration
kPa--Kilopascal
LD--Light-Duty
LD GHG--Light-Duty Greenhouse Gas
LFL--Lower Flammability Limit
LOAEL--Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level
LPG--Liquified Petroleum Gas
MAC Directive--Directive on Mobile Air Conditioning
MDPV--Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicle
MIR--Maximum Incremental Reactivity
MMTCO2eq--Million Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide 
Equivalent
MSDS--Material Safety Data Sheet
MVAC--Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning
MY--Model Year
N2O--Nitrous Oxide
NAAQS--National Ambient Air Quality Standards
NADA--National Automobile Dealers Association
NAICS--North American Industrial Classification System
NESHAP--National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
NFPA--National Fire Protection Association
NHTSA--National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NIK--Not-In-Kind
NIOSH--United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and 
Health
NPRM--Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NRDC--Natural Resources Defense Council
NSF--National Sanitation Foundation
OEM--Original Equipment Manufacturer
ODP--Ozone Depletion Potential
ODS--Ozone-depleting Substance
OMB--United States Office of Management and Budget
OSHA--United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PEL--Permissible Exposure Limit
PFC--Perfluorocarbons
PMS--Pantone Matching System
ppb--Parts Per Billion
PPE--Personal Protective Equipment
ppm--Parts Per Million
PSM--Process Safety Management
PTAC--Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners
PTHP--Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps
PU--Polyurethane
RCRA--Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
REL--Recommended Exposure Limit
RfC--Reference Concentration
RMP--Risk Management Plan
RSES--Refrigeration Service Engineers Society
RTOC--Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical 
Options Committee
SARPS--Standards and Recommended Practices
SIP--State Implementation Plan
SAE ICCC--SAE International's Interior Climate Control Committee
SAP--Scientific Assessment Panel

[[Page 22816]]

SF6--Sulfur Hexafluoride
SNAP--Significant New Alternatives Policy
SRES--Special Report on Emissions Scenarios
STEL--Short-term Exposure Limit
SUV--Sport Utility Vehicles
TEAP--Technical and Economic Assessment Panel
TFA--Trifluoroacetic Acid
TLV--Threshold Limit Value
TWA--Time Weighted Average
UL--Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
UMRA--Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
UNEP--United Nations Environmental Programme
VOC--Volatile Organic Compounds
WEEL--Workplace Environmental Exposure Limit

II. How does the SNAP program work?

A. What are the statutory requirements and authority for the SNAP 
program?

    CAA section 612 requires EPA to develop a program for evaluating 
alternatives to ODS. This program is known as the SNAP program. The 
major provisions of section 612 are:
1. Rulemaking
    Section 612(c) requires EPA to promulgate rules making it unlawful 
to replace any class I (chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), halon, carbon 
tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, 
hydrobromofluorocarbon (HBFC), and chlorobromomethane) or class II 
hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)) substance with any substitute that the 
Administrator determines may present adverse effects to human health or 
the environment where the Administrator has identified an alternative 
that (1) reduces the overall risk to human health and the environment 
and (2) is currently or potentially available.
2. Listing of Unacceptable/Acceptable Substitutes
    Section 612(c) requires EPA to publish a list of the substitutes 
that it finds to be unacceptable for specific uses and to publish a 
corresponding list of acceptable substitutes for specific uses. The 
list of ``acceptable'' substitutes is found at www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/substitutes-sector and the lists of ``unacceptable,'' ``acceptable 
subject to use conditions,'' and ``acceptable subject to narrowed use 
limits'' substitutes are found in the appendices to 40 CFR part 82 
subpart G.
3. Petition Process
    Section 612(d) grants the right to any person to petition EPA to 
add a substance to, or delete a substance from, the lists published in 
accordance with section 612(c). The Agency has 90 days to grant or deny 
a petition. Where the Agency grants the petition, EPA must publish the 
revised lists within an additional six months.
4. 90-Day Notification
    Section 612(e) directs EPA to require any person who produces a 
chemical substitute for a class I substance to notify the Agency not 
less than 90 days before new or existing chemicals are introduced into 
interstate commerce for significant new uses as substitutes for a class 
I substance. The producer must also provide the Agency with the 
producer's unpublished health and safety studies on such substitutes.
5. Outreach
    Section 612(b)(1) states that the Administrator shall seek to 
maximize the use of federal research facilities and resources to assist 
users of class I and II substances in identifying and developing 
alternatives to the use of such substances in key commercial 
applications.
6. Clearinghouse
    Section 612(b)(4) requires the Agency to set up a public 
clearinghouse of alternative chemicals, product substitutes, and 
alternative manufacturing processes that are available for products and 
manufacturing processes which use class I and II substances.

B. What are EPA's regulations implementing CAA section 612?

    On March 18, 1994, EPA published the initial SNAP rule (59 FR 
13044) which established the process for administering the SNAP program 
and issued EPA's first lists identifying acceptable and unacceptable 
substitutes in major industrial use sectors (40 CFR part 82 subpart G). 
These sectors include the following: Refrigeration and AC; foam 
blowing; solvents cleaning; fire suppression and explosion protection; 
sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings and inks; and tobacco 
expansion. These sectors comprise the principal industrial sectors that 
historically consumed the largest volumes of ODS.

C. How do the regulations for the SNAP program work?

    Under the SNAP regulations, anyone who produces a substitute to 
replace a class I or II ODS in one of the eight major industrial use 
sectors listed above must provide the Agency with notice and the 
required health and safety information on the substitute at least 90 
days before introducing it into interstate commerce for significant new 
use as an alternative. 40 CFR 82.176(a). While this requirement 
typically applies to chemical manufacturers as the person likely to be 
planning to introduce the substitute into interstate commerce,\8\ it 
may also apply to importers, formulators, equipment manufacturers, or 
end users \9\ when they are responsible for introducing a substitute 
into interstate commerce. The 90-day SNAP review process begins once 
EPA receives the submission and determines that the submission includes 
complete and adequate data. 40 CFR 82.180(a). The CAA and the SNAP 
regulations, 40 CFR 82.174(a), prohibit use of a substitute earlier 
than 90 days after a complete submission has been provided to the 
Agency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.104, ``interstate commerce'' means 
the distribution or transportation of any product between one state, 
territory, possession or the District of Columbia, and another 
state, territory, possession or the District of Columbia, or the 
sale, use or manufacture of any product in more than one state, 
territory, possession or District of Columbia. The entry points for 
which a product is introduced into interstate commerce are the 
release of a product from the facility in which the product was 
manufactured, the entry into a warehouse from which the domestic 
manufacturer releases the product for sale or distribution, and at 
the site of United States Customs clearance.
    \9\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.172, ``end-use'' means processes or 
classes of specific applications within major industrial sectors 
where a substitute is used to replace an ozone-depleting substance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency has identified four possible decision categories for 
substitute submissions: Acceptable; acceptable, subject to use 
conditions; acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits; and 
unacceptable.\10\ 40 CFR 82.180(b). Use conditions and narrowed use 
limits are both considered ``use restrictions'' and are explained 
below. Substitutes that are deemed acceptable without use conditions 
can be used for all applications within the relevant sector end-uses 
and without limits under SNAP on how they may be used. Substitutes that 
are acceptable subject to use restrictions may be used only in 
accordance with those restrictions. Substitutes that are found to be 
unacceptable may not be used after the date specified in the rulemaking 
adding them to the list of unacceptable substitutes.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ The SNAP regulations also include ``pending,'' referring to 
submissions for which EPA has not reached a determination, under 
this provision.
    \11\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.172, ``use'' means any use of a 
substitute for a class I or class II ozone-depleting compound, 
including but not limited to use in a manufacturing process or 
product, in consumption by the end-user, or in intermediate uses, 
such as formulation or packaging for other subsequent uses. This 
definition of use encompasses manufacturing process of products both 
for domestic use and for export. Substitutes manufactured within the 
United States exclusively for export are subject to SNAP 
requirements since the definition of use in the rule includes use in 
the manufacturing process, which occurs within the United States.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 22817]]

    After reviewing a substitute, the Agency may determine that a 
substitute is acceptable only if certain conditions in the way that the 
substitute is used are met to ensure risks to human health and the 
environment are not significantly greater than other substitutes. EPA 
describes such substitutes as ``acceptable subject to use conditions.'' 
Entities that use these substitutes without meeting the associated use 
conditions are in violation of CAA section 612 and EPA's SNAP 
regulations. 40 CFR 82.174(c).
    For some substitutes, the Agency may permit a narrow range of use 
within an end-use or sector. For example, the Agency may limit the use 
of a substitute to certain end-uses or specific applications within an 
industry sector. The Agency generally requires a user of a substitute 
subject to narrowed use limits to demonstrate that no other acceptable 
substitutes are available for their specific application.\12\ EPA 
describes these substitutes as ``acceptable subject to narrowed use 
limits.'' A person using a substitute that is acceptable subject to 
narrowed use limits in applications and end-uses that are not 
consistent with the narrowed use limit is using these substitutes in 
violation of CAA section 612 and EPA's SNAP regulations. 40 CFR 
82.174(c).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ In the case of the July 20, 2015, final rule, EPA 
established narrowed use limits for certain substitutes over a 
limited period of time for specific MVAC and foam applications, on 
the basis that other acceptable alternatives would not be available 
for those specific applications within broader end-uses, but 
acceptable alternatives were expected to become available over time, 
e.g., after military qualification testing for foam blowing agents 
in military applications or after development of improved servicing 
infrastructure in a destination country for MVAC in vehicles 
destined for export.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The section 612 mandate for EPA to prohibit the use of a substitute 
that may present risk to human health or the environment where a lower 
risk alternative is available or potentially available \13\ provides 
EPA with the authority to change the listing status of a particular 
substitute if such a change is justified by new information or changed 
circumstance. The Agency publishes its SNAP program decisions in the 
Federal Register. EPA uses notice-and-comment rulemaking to place any 
alternative on the list of prohibited substitutes, to list a substitute 
as acceptable only subject to use conditions or narrowed use limits, or 
to remove a substitute from either the list of prohibited or acceptable 
substitutes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ In addition to acceptable commercially available 
alternatives, the SNAP program may consider potentially available 
alternatives. The SNAP program's definition of ``potentially 
available'' is ``any alternative for which adequate health, safety, 
and environmental data, as required for the SNAP notification 
process, exist to make a determination of acceptability, and which 
the Agency reasonably believes to be technically feasible, even if 
not all testing has yet been completed and the alternative is not 
yet produced or sold.'' (40 CFR 82.172)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In contrast, EPA publishes ``notices of acceptability'' to notify 
the public of substitutes that are deemed acceptable with no 
restrictions. As described in the preamble to the rule initially 
implementing the SNAP program (59 FR 13044; March 18, 1994), EPA does 
not believe that rulemaking procedures are necessary to list 
substitutes that are acceptable without restrictions because such 
listings neither impose any sanction nor prevent anyone from using a 
substitute.
    Many SNAP listings include ``comments'' or ``further information'' 
to provide additional information on substitutes. Since this additional 
information is not part of the regulatory decision, these statements 
are not binding for use of the substitute under the SNAP program. 
However, regulatory requirements so listed are binding under other 
regulatory programs (e.g., worker protection regulations promulgated by 
the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)). The 
``further information'' classification does not necessarily include all 
other legal obligations pertaining to the use of the substitute. While 
the items listed are not legally binding under the SNAP program, EPA 
encourages users of substitutes to apply all statements in the 
``further information'' column in their use of these substitutes. In 
many instances, the information simply refers to sound operating 
practices that have already been identified in existing industry and/or 
building codes or standards. Thus, many of the statements, if adopted, 
would not require the affected user to make significant changes in 
existing operating practices.

D. What are the guiding principles of the SNAP program?

    The seven guiding principles of the SNAP program, elaborated in the 
preamble to the initial SNAP rule and consistent with section 612, are 
discussed below.
     Evaluate substitutes within a comparative risk framework
    The SNAP program evaluates the risk of alternative compounds 
compared to available or potentially available substitutes to the ozone 
depleting compounds which they are intended to replace. The risk 
factors that are considered include ozone depletion potential (ODP) as 
well as flammability, toxicity, occupational health and safety, and 
contributions to climate change and other environmental factors.
     Do not require that substitutes be risk free to be found 
acceptable
    Substitutes found to be acceptable must not pose significantly 
greater risk than other substitutes, but they do not have to be risk 
free. A key goal of the SNAP program is to promote the use of 
substitutes that minimize risks to human health and the environment 
relative to other alternatives. In some cases, this approach may 
involve designating a substitute acceptable even though the compound 
may pose a risk of some type, provided its use does not pose 
significantly greater risk than other alternatives.
     Restrict those substitutes that are significantly worse
    EPA does not intend to restrict a substitute if it has only 
marginally greater risk. Drawing fine distinctions would be extremely 
difficult. The Agency also does not want to intercede in the market's 
choice of substitutes by listing as unacceptable all but one substitute 
for each end-use, and does not intend to restrict substitutes on the 
market unless a substitute has been proposed or is being used that is 
clearly more harmful to human health or the environment than other 
alternatives.
     Evaluate risks by use
    Central to SNAP's evaluations is the intersection between the 
characteristics of the substitute itself and its specific end-use 
application. Section 612 requires that substitutes be evaluated by use. 
Environmental and human health exposures can vary significantly 
depending on the particular application of a substitute. Thus, the risk 
characterizations must be designed to represent differences in the 
environmental and human health effects associated with diverse uses. 
This approach cannot, however, imply fundamental tradeoffs with respect 
to different types of risk to either the environment or to human 
health.
     Provide the regulated community with information as soon 
as possible
    The Agency recognizes the need to provide the regulated community 
with information on the acceptability of various substitutes as soon as 
possible. To do so, EPA issues notices or determinations of 
acceptability and rules identifying substitutes as unacceptable; 
acceptable, subject to use conditions; or acceptable, subject to 
narrowed use limits, in the Federal Register. In addition, we maintain 
lists of acceptable and unacceptable alternatives on our Web site, 
www.epa.gov/ozone/snap.
     Do not endorse products manufactured by specific companies

[[Page 22818]]

    The Agency does not issue company-specific product endorsements. In 
many cases, the Agency may base its analysis on data received on 
individual products, but the addition of a substitute to the acceptable 
list based on that analysis does not represent an endorsement of that 
company's products.
     Defer to other environmental regulations when warranted
    In some cases, EPA and other federal agencies have developed 
extensive regulations under other sections of the CAA or other statutes 
that address potential environmental or human health effects that may 
result from the use of alternatives to class I and class II substances. 
For example, use of some substitutes may in some cases entail increased 
use of chemicals that contribute to tropospheric air pollution. The 
SNAP program takes existing regulations under other programs into 
account when reviewing substitutes.

E. What are EPA's criteria for evaluating substitutes under the SNAP 
program?

    EPA applies the same criteria for determining whether a substitute 
is acceptable or unacceptable. These criteria, which can be found at 
Sec.  82.180(a)(7), include atmospheric effects and related health and 
environmental effects, ecosystem risks, consumer risks, flammability, 
and cost and availability of the substitute. To enable EPA to assess 
these criteria, we require submitters to include various information 
including ODP, GWP, toxicity, flammability, and the potential for human 
exposure.
    When evaluating potential substitutes, EPA evaluates these criteria 
in the following groupings:
     Atmospheric effects--The SNAP program evaluates the 
potential contributions to both ozone depletion and climate change. The 
SNAP program considers the ODP and the 100-year integrated GWP of 
compounds to assess atmospheric effects.
     Exposure assessments--The SNAP program uses exposure 
assessments to estimate concentration levels of substitutes to which 
workers, consumers, the general population, and the environment may be 
exposed over a determined period of time. These assessments are based 
on personal monitoring data or area sampling data if available. 
Exposure assessments may be conducted for many types of releases 
including:
    (1) Releases in the workplace and in homes;
    (2) Releases to ambient air and surface water;
    (3) Releases from the management of solid wastes.
     Toxicity data--The SNAP program uses toxicity data to 
assess the possible health and environmental effects of exposure to 
substitutes. We use broad health-based criteria such as:
    (1) Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for occupational exposure;
    (2) Inhalation reference concentrations (RfCs) for non-carcinogenic 
effects on the general population;
    (3) Cancer slope factors for carcinogenic risk to members of the 
general population.
    When considering risks in the workplace, if OSHA has not issued a 
PEL for a compound, EPA then considers Recommended Exposure Limits from 
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 
Workplace Environmental Exposure Limits (WEELs) set by the American 
Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), or threshold limit values (TLVs) 
set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists 
(ACGIH). If limits for occupational exposure or exposure to the general 
population are not already established, then EPA derives these values 
following the Agency's peer reviewed guidelines. Exposure information 
is combined with toxicity information to explore any basis for concern. 
Toxicity data are used with existing EPA guidelines to develop health-
based limits for interim use in these risk characterizations.
     Flammability--The SNAP program examines flammability as a 
safety concern for workers and consumers. EPA assesses flammability 
risk using data on:
    (1) Flash point and flammability limits (e.g., ASHRAE flammability/
combustibility classifications);
    (2) Data on testing of blends with flammable components;
    (3) Test data on flammability in consumer applications conducted by 
independent laboratories; and
    (4) Information on flammability risk mitigation techniques.
     Other environmental impacts--The SNAP program also 
examines other potential environmental impacts like ecotoxicity and 
local air quality impacts. A compound that is likely to be discharged 
to water may be evaluated for impacts on aquatic life. Some substitutes 
are volatile organic compounds (VOC). EPA also notes whenever a 
potential substitute is considered a hazardous or toxic air pollutant 
(under CAA sections 112 (b) and 202 (l)) or hazardous waste under the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) subtitle C regulations.
    EPA's consideration of cost in listing decisions is limited to 
evaluating the cost of the substitute under review pursuant to section 
82.180(a)(7)(vii). This is distinct from consideration of costs 
associated with the use of other alternatives to which the substitute 
is being compared. See Honeywell v. EPA, 374 F.3d 1363 (D.C. Cir. 2004) 
at 1,378 (J. Rogers, concurring in part and dissenting in part) 
(``While the SNAP regulations make the `cost and availability of the 
substitute' an element of acceptability . . . that concern is limited 
to whether EPA `has . . . reason to prohibit its use,' not to whether 
cleaner alternatives for the substance are already `currently or 
potentially available'. . . . Consideration of transition costs is thus 
precluded by the SNAP regulations as currently written, irrespective of 
whether it might be permitted under CAA Sec.  612(c) . . . .'').
    Over the past twenty years, the menu of substitutes has become much 
broader and a great deal of new information has been developed on many 
substitutes. Because the overall goal of the SNAP program is to ensure 
that substitutes listed as acceptable do not pose significantly greater 
risk to human health and the environment than other substitutes, the 
SNAP criteria continue to be informed by our current overall 
understanding of environmental and human health impacts and our 
experience with and current knowledge about alternatives. Over time, 
the range of substitutes reviewed by SNAP has changed, and, at the same 
time, scientific approaches have evolved to more accurately assess the 
potential environmental and human health impacts of these chemicals and 
alternative technologies.

F. How are SNAP determinations updated?

    Three mechanisms exist for modifying the list of SNAP 
determinations. First, under section 612(d), the Agency must review and 
either grant or deny petitions to add or delete substances from the 
SNAP list of acceptable or unacceptable substitutes. That provision 
allows any person to petition the Administrator to add a substance to 
the list of acceptable or unacceptable substitutes or to remove a 
substance from either list. The second means is through the 
notifications which must be submitted to EPA 90 days before 
introduction of a substitute into interstate commerce for significant 
new use as an alternative to a class I or class II substance. These 90-
day notifications are required by CAA section 612(e) for

[[Page 22819]]

producers of substitutes to class I substances for new uses and, in all 
other cases, by EPA regulations issued under sections 114 and 301 of 
the Act to implement section 612(c).
    Finally, since the inception of the SNAP program, we have 
interpreted the section 612 mandate to find substitutes acceptable or 
unacceptable to include the authority to act on our own to add or 
remove a substance from the SNAP lists (59 FR 13044, 13047; March 18, 
1994). In determining whether to add or remove a substance from the 
SNAP lists, we consider whether there are other alternatives that pose 
lower overall risk to human health and the environment. In determining 
whether to modify a listing of a substitute we undertake the same 
consideration, but do so in the light of new data that may not have 
been available at the time of our original listing decision, including 
information on substitutes that were not included in our comparative 
review at the time of our initial listing decision and new information 
on substitutes previously reviewed.

G. What does EPA consider in deciding whether to modify the listing 
status of an alternative?

    As described in this document and elsewhere, including in the 
initial SNAP rule published in the Federal Register on March 18, 1994 
(59 FR 13044), CAA section 612 requires EPA to list as unacceptable any 
substitute substance where it finds that there are other alternatives 
that reduce overall risk to human health and the environment. The 
initial SNAP rule included submission requirements and presented the 
environmental and health risk factors that the SNAP program considers 
in the comparative risk framework it uses to determine whether there 
are other alternatives that pose significantly lower risk than the 
substitute under review. EPA makes decisions based on the particular 
end-use where a substitute is to be used. EPA has, in many cases, found 
certain substitutes acceptable only for limited end-uses or subject to 
use restrictions.
    It has now been over twenty years since the initial SNAP rule was 
promulgated. When the SNAP program began, the number of substitutes 
available for consideration was, for many end-uses, somewhat limited. 
Thus, while the SNAP program's initial comparative assessments of 
overall risk to human health and the environment were rigorous, often 
there were few substitutes upon which to apply the comparative 
assessment. The immediacy of the class I phaseout often meant that EPA 
listed class II ODS (i.e., HCFCs) as acceptable, recognizing that they 
too would be phased out and, at best, could offer an interim solution. 
Other Title VI provisions such as the section 610 Nonessential Products 
Ban and the section 605 Use Restriction made clear that a listing under 
the SNAP program could not convey permanence.
    Since EPA issued the initial SNAP rule in 1994, the Agency has 
issued 20 rules and 30 notices that generally expand the menu of 
options for the various SNAP sectors and end-uses. Thus, comparisons 
today apply to a broader range of alternatives--both chemical and non-
chemical--than at the inception of the SNAP program. Industry 
experience with these substitutes has also grown during the history of 
the program.
    In addition to an expanding menu of substitutes, developments over 
the past 20 years have improved our understanding of global 
environmental issues. With regard to that information, our review of 
substitutes in this proposed rule includes comparative assessments that 
consider our evolving understanding of a variety of factors. For 
example, GWPs and climate effects are not new elements in our 
evaluation framework, but as is the case with all of our review 
criteria, the amount of information has expanded and the quality has 
improved.
    To the extent possible, EPA's ongoing management of the SNAP 
program considers new information, including new substitutes, and 
improved understanding of the risk to the environment and human health. 
EPA previously has taken several actions revising listing 
determinations from acceptable or acceptable with use conditions to 
unacceptable. On January 26, 1999, EPA listed the refrigerant blend 
known by the trade name MT-31 as unacceptable for all refrigeration and 
AC end-uses for which EPA had previously listed this blend as an 
acceptable substitute (62 FR 30275; June 3, 1997). EPA based this 
decision on new information about the toxicity of one of the chemicals 
in the blend.
    Another example of EPA revising a listing determination occurred in 
2007, when EPA listed HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as unacceptable for use in 
the foam sector (72 FR 14432; March 28, 2007). These HCFCs, which are 
ozone depleting and subject to a global production phaseout, were 
initially listed as acceptable substitutes since they had a lower ODP 
than the substances they were replacing and there were no other 
alternatives that posed lower overall risk at the time of EPA's listing 
decision. HCFCs offered a path forward for some sectors and end-uses at 
a time when the number of substitutes was far more limited. In light of 
the expanded availability of other alternatives with lower overall risk 
to human health and the environment in specific foam end-uses, and 
taking into account the 2010 class II ODS phase-down step, EPA changed 
the listing for these HCFCs in relevant end-uses from acceptable to 
unacceptable. In that rule, EPA noted that continued use of these HCFCs 
would contribute to unnecessary depletion of the ozone layer and delay 
the transition to substitutes that pose lower overall risk to human 
health and the environment. EPA established a change of status date 
that recognized that existing users needed time to adjust their 
manufacturing processes to safely accommodate the use of other 
substitutes.
    In a final rule published on July 20, 2015 (80 FR 42870), various 
HFCs and HFC-containing blends that were previously listed as 
acceptable under the SNAP program were listed as unacceptable in 
various end-uses in the aerosols, foam blowing, and refrigeration and 
AC sectors where there are other alternatives that pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment for specific uses. The July 
2015 rule also changed the status from acceptable to unacceptable for 
certain HCFCs being phased out of production under the Montreal 
Protocol and CAA section 605(a). Per the guiding principles of the SNAP 
program, the July 2015 rule did not specify that any HFCs or HCFCs are 
unacceptable across all sectors and end-uses. Instead, in all cases, 
EPA considered the intersection between the specific substitute and the 
particular end-use and the availability of substitutes for those 
particular end-uses when making its determinations.

H. Where can I get additional information about the SNAP program?

    For copies of the comprehensive SNAP lists of substitutes or 
additional information on SNAP, refer to EPA's Web site at www.epa.gov/ozone/snap. For more information on the Agency's process for 
administering the SNAP program or criteria for evaluation of 
substitutes, refer to the initial SNAP rule published March 18, 1994 
(59 FR 13044), codified at 40 CFR part 82 subpart G. A complete 
chronology of SNAP decisions and the appropriate citations are found at 
www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/chron.html.

[[Page 22820]]

III. What actions and information related to greenhouse gases have 
bearing on this proposed action?

    GWP is one of several criteria EPA considers in the overall 
evaluation of alternatives under the SNAP program. During the past two 
decades, the general science on climate change and the potential 
contributions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as HFCs to climate change 
have become better understood.
    On December 7, 2009, at 74 FR 66496, the Administrator issued an 
endangerment finding determining that, for purposes of CAA section 
202(a), the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-
mixed greenhouse gases in the atmosphere--CO2, methane 
(CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), HFCs, PFCs, and 
sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)--threaten the public health and 
welfare of current and future generations.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ EPA, 2009a. Technical Support Document for Endangerment and 
Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 
202(a) of the Clean Air Act. December, 2009. This document is 
accessible at: http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/endangerment/Endangerment_TSD.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Like the ODS they replace, HFCs are potent GHGs.\15\ Although they 
represent a small fraction of the current total volume of GHG 
emissions, their warming impact is very strong. While GHGs such as 
CO2 and CH4 are unintentional byproducts from 
industrial activities and mobile source emissions, HFCs are 
intentionally produced chemicals.\16\ The most commonly used HFC is 
HFC-134a. HFC-134a is 1,430 times more damaging to the climate system 
than CO2. Because of their role in replacing ODS, both in 
the United States and globally, and because of the increasing use of 
refrigeration and AC, HFC emissions are projected to increase 
substantially and at an increasing rate over the next several decades 
if left unregulated. In the United States, emissions of HFCs are 
increasing more quickly than those of any other GHGs, and globally they 
are increasing 10-15 percent annually.\17\ At that rate, emissions are 
projected to double by 2020 and triple by 2030.\18\ HFCs are rapidly 
accumulating in the atmosphere. The atmospheric concentration of HFC-
134a, the most abundant HFC, has increased by about 10 percent per year 
from 2006 to 2012, and the concentrations of HFC-143a and HFC-125 have 
risen over 13 percent and 16 percent per year from 2007-2011, 
respectively.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ IPCC/TEAP, 2005. Special Report: Safeguarding the Ozone 
Layer and the Global Climate System: Issues Related to 
Hydrofluorocarbons and Perfluorocarbons. Cambridge Univ Press, New 
York. This document is accessible at: https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/sroc_full.pdf.
    \16\ HFC-23 is an exception; it is produced as a byproduct 
during the production of HCFC-22 and other chemicals.
    \17\ UNEP, 2011. HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and 
the Ozone Layer, A UNEP Synthesis Report. November, 2011. This 
document is accessible at: www.unep.org/dewa/portals/67/pdf/HFC_report.pdf.
    \18\ Akerman, 2013. Hydrofluorocarbons and Climate Change: 
Summaries of Recent Scientific and Papers. 2013.
    \19\ Montzka, 2012. HFCs in the Atmosphere: Concentrations, 
Emissions and Impacts. ASHRAE/NIST Conference 2012. This document is 
accessible at: ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/hats/papers/montzka/2012_pubs/Montzka_ASHRAE_2012.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Annual global emissions of HFCs are projected to rise to about 6.4 
to 9.9 gigatons of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2eq) in 
2050,\20\ which is comparable to the drop in annual GHG emissions from 
ODS of 8.0 GtCO2eq between 1988 and 2010.\21\ By 2050, the 
buildup of HFCs in the atmosphere is projected to increase radiative 
forcing by up to 0.4 W m-\2\. This increase may be as much 
as one-fifth to one-quarter of the expected increase in radiative 
forcing due to the buildup of CO2 since 2000, according to 
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) Special Report 
on Emissions Scenarios (SRES).\22\ To appreciate the significance of 
the effect of projected HFC emissions within the context of all GHGs, 
HFCs would be equivalent to five to 12 percent of the CO2 
emissions in 2050 based on the IPCC's highest CO2 emissions 
scenario and equivalent to 27 to 69 percent of CO2 emissions 
based on the IPCC's lowest CO2 emissions 
pathway.23 24 Additional information concerning the peer-
reviewed scientific literature and emission scenarios is available in 
the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663). Today's notice 
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) includes status change proposals for 
certain HFCs or HFC blends in specific refrigeration and AC end-uses 
and in rigid polyurethane spray foam.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Velders, G. J. M., D. W. Fahey, J. S. Daniel, M. McFarland, 
S. O. Andersen (2009). ``The large contribution of projected HFC 
emissions to future climate forcing.'' Proceedings of the National 
Academy of Sciences USA 106: 10949-10954.
    \21\ UNEP, 2011. HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and 
the Ozone Layer, A UNEP Synthesis Report. November, 2011. This 
document is accessible at: www.unep.org/dewa/portals/67/pdf/HFC_report.pdf.
    \22\ Ibid.
    \23\ Ibid.
    \24\ IPCC, 2013: Annex II: Climate System Scenario Tables 
[Prather, M., G. Flato, P. Friedlingstein, C. Jones, J.-F. Lamarque, 
H. Liao and P. Rasch (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical 
Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth 
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 
[Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. 
Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. 
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, 
NY, USA. This document is accessible at: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PFCs are potent GHGs and have very long atmospheric lifetimes. PFCs 
are produced as a byproduct of various industrial processes associated 
with aluminum production and the manufacturing of semiconductors, then 
captured for intentional use or manufactured for use in various 
industrial applications. PFCs have had limited use in the eight sectors 
regulated under SNAP. This action includes status change proposals for 
certain PFCs in fire suppression total flooding and streaming uses.

IV. What petitions has EPA received requesting a change in listing 
status for HFCs?

A. Summary of Petitions

    EPA recently received two petitions requesting EPA to modify 
certain acceptability listings of high-GWP substances in various end-
uses. The petitions were both submitted on October 6, 2015. The first 
was submitted by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and the 
Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) and the 
second by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).25 26 
Today's proposal is relevant to certain aspects of these petitions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ NRDC/IGSD, 2015. Petition for Change of Status of HFCs 
under Clean Air Act Section 612 (Significant New Alternatives 
Policy). Submitted October 6, 2015.
    \26\ EIA, 2015. Petition requesting EPA to modify the status 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program, of certain 
high-GWP chemicals in various end-uses. Submitted October 6, 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NRDC and IGSD petition requests that EPA change the listing 
status of certain high-GWP chemicals they believe are used most 
frequently in the United States in various end-uses in the 
refrigeration and AC, foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion 
protection sectors. The EIA petition requests that EPA list additional 
high-GWP HFCs as unacceptable or acceptable, subject to use 
restrictions, in a number of end-uses in the refrigeration and AC, and 
fire suppression and explosion protection sectors. EIA requests that 
the schedule for changing the status of the substances listed in their 
petition be based on a three tiered approach: (1) January 1, 2017, or 
one year following the passage of a final rule for SF6, HFC-
23, and HFC-23 blends R-508A and R-508B; (2) January 1, 2019, for all 
chemicals with a GWP greater than 3,000 (e.g., includes HFC-236fa, HFC-
227ea, R-507A, and R-404A) in all remaining stationary refrigeration 
end-uses; and (3) January 1, 2022, for all remaining substitutes with

[[Page 22821]]

GWPs higher than 1,000, including HFC-134a, R-410A. In support of their 
petitions, the petitioners identified other alternatives they claimed 
are available for use in the specified end-uses. NRDC and IGSD stated 
that these other alternatives ``possess similar thermodynamic 
characteristics'' and ``can achieve equal or greater energy efficiency 
in hardware design'' compared to the substances they request the Agency 
list as unacceptable. The petitions are available in the docket for 
this rulemaking. While EPA has not found these petitions complete at 
this time, today's proposal addresses certain aspects of the petitions 
as described in section I.A and further discussed below.
    Parts of two other previously submitted SNAP petitions that EPA 
found to be incomplete are also relevant to this rulemaking. In a 
petition EIA submitted to EPA on April 26, 2012, EIA stated that, ``in 
light of the comparative nature of the SNAP program's evaluation of 
substitutes and given that other acceptable substitutes are on the 
market or soon to be available,'' EPA should ``remove HFC-134a and HFC-
134a blends from the list of acceptable substitutes for any ozone 
depleting substance in any non-essential uses under EPA's SNAP 
program.'' Additionally, NRDC, EIA, and IGSD filed a petition on April 
27, 2012, requesting that EPA remove HFC-134a from the list of 
acceptable substitutes in household refrigerators and freezers, and 
stand-alone retail food refrigerators and freezers, among other things. 
On August 7, 2013, EPA found both petitions to be incomplete.

B. How This Action Relates to the Climate Action Plan and Petitions

    This action is consistent with a provision in the President's CAP 
announced June 2013:

    Moving forward, the Environmental Protection Agency will use its 
authority through the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program to 
encourage private sector investment in low-emissions technology by 
identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals while 
prohibiting certain uses of the most harmful chemical alternatives.

    The CAP further states: ``to reduce emissions of HFCs, the United 
States can and will lead both through international diplomacy as well 
as domestic actions.'' This proposed rule is also consistent with that 
call for leadership through domestic actions. As regards international 
leadership, for the past six years, the United States, Canada, and 
Mexico have proposed an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase 
down the production and consumption of HFCs. Global benefits of the 
amendment proposal are estimated to yield significant reductions in 
emissions of over 90 GtCO2eq through 2050.
    This action also addresses certain aspects of the various petitions 
referred to above in section IV.A. While the two recent petitions have 
not been found complete and earlier petitions have been found 
incomplete, EPA possesses sufficient information to propose action on 
some of the end-uses covered by the petitions. EPA's action is 
responsive to certain aspects of the petitions that relate to the 
refrigeration and AC, foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion 
protection sectors; EPA is proposing to change the listing from 
acceptable to unacceptable for:
     HFC-134a in new centrifugal chillers, new positive 
displacement chillers, new household refrigerators and freezers, and 
rigid PU spray foam;
     R-404A, R-410A, R-410B, and R-507A in new centrifugal 
chillers, new positive displacement chillers, new household 
refrigerators and freezers, and new cold storage warehouses;
     R-407A in new cold storage warehouses;
     R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, and R-434A in new 
centrifugal chillers and new positive displacement chillers;
     HFC-227ea in new cold storage warehouses, new centrifugal 
chillers, and new positive displacement chillers;
     HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, and HFC-227ea in rigid PU spray 
foam;
     HFC-245fa and HFC-227ea in new centrifugal chillers and 
new positive displacement chillers;
     PFCs (i.e., C3F8 and 
C4F10,) for total flooding applications; and
     a number of refrigerant blends with higher GWPs in certain 
new refrigeration and AC equipment.
    EPA is also requesting comment and updated information on total 
flooding uses of SF6 HFC-23, and HFC-125, and on both total 
flooding and streaming uses of HFC-227ea.
    Throughout the process of our discussions with the regulated 
community, we have sought to convey our continued understanding of the 
role that certainty plays in enabling the robust development and uptake 
of alternatives. As noted above, some of the key strengths of the SNAP 
program, such as its substance and end-use specific consideration, its 
multi-criteria basis for action, and its petition process, tend to 
militate against measures some have advocated could provide more 
certainty, such as setting specific numerical criteria for 
environmental evaluations (e.g., all compounds with GWP greater than 
150). That said, we believe that the action we are taking today does 
provide additional certainty in the specific cases addressed. In 
addition, we remain committed to continuing to actively seek 
stakeholder views and to share our thinking at the earliest moment 
practicable on any future actions, as part of our commitment to provide 
greater certainty to producers and consumers in SNAP-regulated 
industrial sectors.

V. How does EPA regulate substitute refrigerants under CAA section 608?

A. What are the statutory requirements concerning venting, release, or 
disposal of refrigerants and refrigerant substitutes under CAA section 
608?

    The statutory requirements concerning venting, release, or disposal 
of refrigerants and refrigerant substitutes are under CAA section 608, 
and EPA's authority to promulgate the regulatory revisions in this 
action is based in part on CAA section 608. Section 608 of the Act as 
amended, titled National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program, 
requires, among other things, that EPA establish regulations governing 
the use and disposal of ODS used as refrigerants, such as certain CFCs 
and HCFCs, during the service, repair, or disposal of appliances and 
industrial process refrigeration (IPR). Section 608(c)(1) provides that 
it is unlawful for any person, in the course of maintaining, servicing, 
repairing, or disposing of an appliance (or IPR), to knowingly vent, or 
otherwise knowingly release or dispose of, any class I or class II 
substance used as a refrigerant in that appliance (or IPR) in a manner 
which permits the ODS to enter the environment.
    Section 608(c)(1) further exempts from this self-effectuating 
prohibition de minimis releases associated with good faith attempts to 
recapture and recycle or safely dispose of such a substance. EPA, as 
set forth in its regulations, interprets releases to meet the criteria 
for exempted de minimis releases if they occur when the recycling and 
recovery requirements of specified regulations promulgated under 
sections 608 and 609 are followed. 40 CFR 82.154(a)(2).
    Section 608(c)(2) extends the prohibition in section 608(c)(1) to 
knowingly venting or otherwise knowingly releasing or disposing of any 
refrigerant substitute for class I or class II substances by any person 
maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of appliances or IPR. 
This prohibition applies to any substitute unless the Administrator 
determines that such venting, releasing, or disposing does not pose a 
threat to the

[[Page 22822]]

environment. Thus, section 608(c) provides EPA authority to promulgate 
regulations to interpret, implement, and enforce this prohibition on 
venting, releasing, or disposing of class I or class II substances and 
their refrigerant substitutes, which we refer to as the ``venting 
prohibition'' in this action. EPA's authority under section 608(c) 
includes authority to implement section 608(c)(2) by exempting certain 
substitutes for class I or class II substances from the venting 
prohibition when the Administrator determines that such venting, 
release, or disposal does not pose a threat to the environment.

B. What are EPA's regulations concerning venting, releasing, or 
disposal of refrigerant substitutes?

    Regulations promulgated under CAA section 608, published on May 14, 
1993 (58 FR 28660), established a recycling program for ozone-depleting 
refrigerants recovered during the servicing and maintenance of 
refrigeration and AC appliances. In the same 1993 rule, EPA also 
promulgated regulations implementing the section 608(c) prohibition on 
knowingly venting, releasing, or disposing of class I or class II 
controlled substances. These regulations were designed to substantially 
reduce the use and emissions of ozone-depleting refrigerants.
    EPA issued a final rule on March 12, 2004 (69 FR 11946) and a 
second rule on April 13, 2005 (70 FR 19273) clarifying how the venting 
prohibition in section 608(c) applies to substitutes for CFC and HCFC 
refrigerants (e.g., HFCs and PFCs) during the maintenance, service, 
repair, or disposal of appliances. These regulations are codified at 40 
CFR part 82, subpart F. In relevant part, they provide that no person 
maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of appliances may 
knowingly vent or otherwise release into the environment any 
refrigerant or substitute from such appliances, with the exception of 
the certain specified substitutes in the specified end-uses, as 
provided in 40 CFR 82.154(a).
    As explained in an earlier EPA rulemaking concerning refrigerant 
substitutes, EPA has not promulgated regulations requiring 
certification of refrigerant recycling/recovery equipment intended for 
use with substitutes to date (70 FR 19275; April 13, 2005). The Agency 
has recently proposed, but not yet finalized, regulations to address 
certification of such equipment used to recover and/or recycle 
refrigerants that are not exempt from the venting prohibition (80 FR 
69458; November 9, 2015). However, as EPA has noted, the lack of a 
current regulatory provision should not be considered as an exemption 
from the venting prohibition for substitutes that are not expressly 
exempted in Sec.  82.154(a) (80 FR 69466, 69478). EPA has also noted 
that, in accordance with section 608(c) of the Act, the regulatory 
prohibition at Sec.  82.154(a) reflects the statutory references to de 
minimis releases of substitutes as they pertain to good faith attempts 
to recover and recycle or safely dispose of non-exempted substitutes 
but does not provide clear guidance about what constitutes such a 
``good faith attempt'' for substitutes. (80 FR 69470).
    On May 23, 2014 (79 FR 29682), EPA exempted from the venting 
prohibition three HC refrigerant substitutes listed as acceptable, 
subject to use conditions, in the specified end-uses: Isobutane and R-
441A, as refrigerant substitutes in household refrigerators, freezers, 
and combination refrigerators and freezers; and propane as a 
refrigerant substitute in retail food refrigerators and freezers 
(stand-alone units only). Similarly, on April 10, 2015 (80 FR 19453), 
EPA exempted from the venting prohibition four HC refrigerant 
substitutes listed as acceptable, subject to use conditions, in the 
specified end-uses: Isobutane and R-441A, in retail food refrigerators 
and freezers (stand-alone units only); propane in household 
refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerators and freezers; 
ethane in very low temperature refrigeration equipment and equipment 
for non-mechanical heat transfer; R-441A, propane, and isobutane in 
vending machines; and propane and R-441A in self-contained room air 
conditioners for residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps. 
Those regulatory exemptions do not apply to blends of HCs with other 
refrigerants or containing any amount of any CFC, HCFC, HFC, or PFC.
    In those actions, EPA determined that for the purposes of CAA 
section 608(c)(2), the venting, release, or disposal of such HC 
refrigerant substitutes in the specified end-uses does not pose a 
threat to the environment, considering both the inherent 
characteristics of these substances and the limited quantities used in 
the relevant applications. EPA further concluded that other 
authorities, controls, or practices that apply to such refrigerant 
substitutes help to mitigate environmental risk from the release of 
those HC refrigerant substitutes.

C. What did EPA recently propose regarding management of refrigerant 
substitutes under CAA section 608?

    In addition to the prohibition on knowingly releasing ozone-
depleting and substitute refrigerants during the maintenance, service, 
repair, and disposal of appliances, the existing regulations 
established under CAA section 608 require that persons servicing or 
disposing of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment observe 
certain service practices that reduce emissions of ozone-depleting 
refrigerant. The current regulatory provisions only apply to ozone-
depleting refrigerants and appliances containing ozone-depleting 
refrigerants. The current requirements include: Requiring that 
technicians be certified to work on appliances; restricting the sale of 
refrigerant to certified technicians; specifying the proper evacuation 
levels before opening up an appliance; requiring the use of certified 
refrigerant recovery and/or recycling equipment; requiring the 
maintenance and repair of appliances that meet certain size and leak 
rate thresholds; requiring that refrigerants be removed from appliances 
prior to disposal; requiring that air-conditioning and refrigeration 
equipment be provided with a servicing aperture or process stub to 
facilitate refrigerant recovery; requiring that refrigerant reclaimers 
be certified in order to reclaim and sell used refrigerant; and 
establishing standards for technician certification programs, recovery 
equipment, and quality of reclaimed refrigerant.
    On November 9, 2015 (80 FR 69457), EPA proposed to update these 
existing requirements found in 40 CFR part 82, subpart F that currently 
apply to ozone-depleting refrigerants and then to generally extend 
those requirements, as appropriate, to non-ozone-depleting substitute 
refrigerants, including but not limited to HFCs and PFCs. However, as 
proposed, the rule requirements would not extend to substitute 
refrigerants that are exempt from the venting prohibition. This 
proposed rule would also streamline the regulations at 40 CFR part 82, 
subpart F to improve clarity. For more information on this proposed 
rule, see docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0453.

VI. What is EPA proposing in this action?

    EPA is proposing to list certain newly submitted alternatives as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, and other newly submitted 
alternatives as unacceptable. EPA is also proposing to modify the 
listings from acceptable to

[[Page 22823]]

acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, or to unacceptable for 
certain alternatives in various end-uses in the refrigeration and AC, 
foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion protection sectors. In 
each instance where EPA is proposing to list a newly submitted 
substitute as unacceptable or is changing the status of a substitute 
from acceptable to unacceptable, EPA has determined that there are 
other alternatives that pose lower overall risk to human health and the 
environment. EPA is also proposing that the existing listing decisions 
for foam blowing agents apply to closed cell foam products and products 
containing closed cell foam. See section VI.C.3 for the details of this 
proposal. The emissions that would be avoided from the proposed changes 
of status in this action are estimated to be approximately 5.5 to 6.6 
MMTCO2eq in 2025 and approximately 9.8 to 11.3 
MMTCO2eq in 2030.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ EPA, 2016. Draft Climate Benefits of the SNAP Program 
Status Change Rule. February, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In each listing decision, EPA is considering the intersection 
between the specific alternative and the particular end-use, per the 
guiding principles stated above. This action does not propose that any 
specific alternative is acceptable or unacceptable across all sectors 
and end-uses. EPA is also not proposing that, for any specific sector, 
the only acceptable substitutes are non-fluorinated. EPA recognizes 
that both fluorinated (e.g., HFCs, HFOs) and non-fluorinated (e.g., 
HCs, CO2) substitutes may pose lower overall risk to human 
health and the environment, depending on the particular use.

Change of Listing Status

    In determining whether to modify the previous listing decisions for 
substitutes based on whether other alternatives are available that pose 
lower risk to human health and the environment, we considered, among 
other things: Scientific findings, information provided by the 
Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) that supports the 
Montreal Protocol, journal articles, submissions to the SNAP program, 
the regulations and supporting dockets for other EPA rulemakings, 
presentations and reports presented at domestic and international 
conferences, and materials from trade associations and professional 
organizations. The materials on which we have relied may be found in 
the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663). Key references 
are highlighted in section VIII of today's notice.

Change of Status Dates

    Here, as in the July 20, 2015, final rule, the proposed change of 
status dates are based upon EPA's understanding of the availability of 
alternatives, considering factors such as commercial availability and 
supply of alternatives, time required to work through technical 
challenges with using alternatives, and time required to meet other 
federal regulatory requirements with redesigned equipment or 
formulations.

Consideration of Costs and Benefits

    Under the SNAP criteria for review in 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7), 
consideration of cost is limited to cost of the substitute under 
review, and that consideration does not include the cost of transition 
when a substitute is found unacceptable. EPA requires information on 
cost and availability of substitutes as part of SNAP submissions in 
order to judge how widely a substitute might be used, and therefore, 
what its potential environmental and health effects might be. The SNAP 
criteria do not identify other cost considerations and thus we have not 
historically used cost information independent of environmental and 
health effects to determine the acceptability of substitutes under 
review--that is, we have never determined a substitute under review to 
be unacceptable or acceptable on the basis of its cost. When 
considering a change of status for substitutes already listed as 
acceptable, the SNAP program has not considered the costs of transition 
away from HFCs, HFC blends, PFCs, and other alternatives affected by 
the changes of status as part of determining the status of the 
substitute or the availability of other alternatives for the same uses.
    We are not addressing in this rulemaking whether to revise the 
regulatory criteria to include an expanded role for the consideration 
of costs in SNAP listing decisions. We have simply applied the existing 
regulatory criteria in determining whether to change the listing status 
of the substitutes addressed in this action.
    Nevertheless, EPA has estimated the costs of the proposed changes 
of status in this action in order to provide information to the public 
and to meet various statutory and executive order requirements. We have 
estimated costs \28\ for applicable NAICS codes in a document titled, 
``Preliminary Cost Analysis for Regulatory Changes to the Listing 
Status of High-GWP Alternatives used in Refrigeration and Air 
Conditioning, Foams, and Fire Suppression.'' \29\ Total annualized 
compliance costs across affected small businesses are estimated at 
approximately $11.8-$14.4 million at a 7% discount rate, or $11.5-$14.0 
million at a 3% discount rate. The screening analysis finds that the 
rulemaking can be presumed to have no significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities (SISNOSE) for the following 
reasons: roughly 89 small businesses could be subject to the 
rulemaking, although roughly 76% of small businesses subject to this 
rulemaking would be expected to incur compliance costs that are 
estimated to be less than one percent of annual sales; and this 
analysis indicates that up to 21 of the 89 affected small businesses--
or roughly 24%--could incur costs in excess of 1% of annual sales, and 
that up to 12 small businesses could incur costs in excess of three 
percent of annual sales.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Using a 7% discount rate, total annualized compliance costs 
across the roughly 100 affected businesses are estimated to range 
from $59.2 million-$71.3 million. Using a 3% discount rate, total 
annualized compliance costs are estimated to range from $58.8 
million-$70.6 million. In terms of the percentage of the estimated 
total annualized costs by sectors: Refrigeration and air 
conditioning is about 97-98%, foams is about 2-3% and fire 
suppression is about 0%.
    \29\ ICF, 2016a. Preliminary Cost Analysis for Regulatory 
Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives used in 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire Suppression.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, we have analyzed costs and impacts on small businesses 
in a document titled, ``Economic Impact Screening Analysis for 
Regulatory Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives used 
in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire Suppression.'' 
\30\ These analyses are available in the docket for this rulemaking 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663). Based upon these analyses, EPA does not expect 
this proposed rule to have major economic impacts (greater than $100 
million per year) or to have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities, if it is finalized as proposed. In addition, 
we have analyzed costs and impacts on small businesses in a document 
titled, ``Economic Impact Screening Analysis for Regulatory Changes to 
the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives used in Refrigeration and 
Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire Suppression.\31\ Based upon these 
analyses, EPA does not

[[Page 22824]]

expect this proposed rule to have major economic impacts (greater than 
$100 million per year) or to have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities, if it is finalized as proposed. As noted, 
EPA's consideration of cost in listing decisions is limited to 
evaluating the cost of the substitute under review pursuant to Sec.  
82.180(a)(7)(vii). However, for purposes of ensuring that the cost 
analysis EPA prepared for purposes of providing information to the 
public and complying with statutory and executive order requirements is 
as accurate as possible, EPA requests comment on the preliminary cost 
analysis and the economic impact screening analysis for purposes of 
updating the analysis. These analyses are available in the docket for 
this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ ICF, 2016b. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for 
Regulatory Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives 
used in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire 
Suppression.
    \31\ ICF, 2016b. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for 
Regulatory Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives 
used in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire 
Suppression.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The refrigeration and air conditioning and fire suppression end-
uses that would be affected by this proposed rule were not affected by 
the changes of status promulgated in the July 20, 2015, final rule. For 
the foams sector, the rigid PU spray foam end-use was not affected by 
the changes of status in the July 20, 2015, final rule. For some other 
foam end uses, we changed the status in the July 20, 2015, final rule 
with respect to use of the blowing agent and are now proposing to 
change the status with respect to use of closed cell foam products and 
products containing closed cell foam that are manufactured or imported 
using these foam-blowing agents.

Narrowed Use Limits

    EPA notes that it may be reasonable for several of the end-uses to 
be broken down further. Consistent with previous practice and as EPA is 
proposing in certain instances in this proposal, EPA could consider 
adopting narrowed use limits. We could also consider adopting temporary 
narrowed use limits for a specific application within an end-use if the 
Agency determined that substitutes would be available for all but that 
specific application as of a particular date. In that case, for 
applications in that end-use not covered by the narrowed use limit, the 
proposed rule would list the substitute as unacceptable as of that 
date. For the specific application at issue, the proposed rule could 
contain both a temporary narrowed use limit with an expiration date and 
a listing as unacceptable upon the expiration of the narrowed use 
limit. Any end user within the covered application would need to comply 
with the requirement to analyze and document that there are no other 
alternatives that are technically feasible for their specific end-use 
in order to use the substitute identified in the narrowed use limit.

Requests for Comment

    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal, including 
proposed decisions to list additional substitutes as acceptable in 
certain end uses, to list new substitutes as unacceptable in certain 
end uses and to change the listing status of certain substitutes from 
acceptable to unacceptable, subject to narrowed use limits or 
unacceptable, and the dates when the change of status would apply to 
users of these substitutes. EPA is particularly interested in 
information concerning whether the supply of substitutes is sufficient 
to meet the dates proposed in this action or whether there are 
technical challenges in meeting a proposed change of status date. EPA 
is also interested in whether EPA should adopt a temporary narrowed use 
limit for a specific application of an end-use in the final rule. In 
such a case, the commenter should explain why other alternatives would 
not be available for the specific application of that end-use and for 
what period of time. EPA is also requesting comments on the 
determination that the SNAP listing decisions for foam blowing agents 
would apply to closed cell foam products and products containing closed 
cell foam that are manufactured or imported after one year after 
publication of a final rule. In addition, EPA is requesting comments on 
its proposed decision regarding the venting prohibition under section 
608. More specific requests for comment are included with the 
discussion of each of the proposed decisions.

A. Retail Food Refrigeration and Stationary AC

1. Proposed Listing of Propane as Acceptable, Subject to Use 
Conditions, for Commercial Ice Machines, Water Coolers, and Very Low 
Temperature Refrigeration Equipment
    EPA is proposing to list propane (R-290) as acceptable, subject to 
use conditions, as a refrigerant in new self-contained commercial ice 
machines, in new water coolers, and in new very low temperature 
refrigeration equipment. The proposed use conditions include conditions 
requiring conformity with industry standards, limits on charge size, 
and requirements for warnings and markings on equipment. The use 
conditions are detailed below in section VI.A.1.c, ``What are the 
proposed use conditions?''
a. What are the affected end-uses?
    Commercial ice machines are used in commercial establishments to 
produce ice for consumer use, such as in hotels, restaurants, and 
convenience stores. Many commercial ice machines are self-contained 
units, while some have the condenser separated from the portion of the 
machine making the ice and have refrigerant lines running between the 
two. The proposed listing applies only to self-contained commercial ice 
machines.
    Water coolers are self-contained units providing chilled water for 
drinking. They may or may not feature detachable containers of water.
    Very low temperature refrigeration equipment is intended to 
maintain temperatures considerably lower than for refrigeration of 
food--generally, -80 [deg]C (-170 [deg]F) or lower. In some cases, very 
low temperature refrigeration equipment may use a refrigeration system 
with two refrigerant loops containing different refrigerants or with a 
direct expansion (DX) refrigeration loop coupled with an alternative 
refrigeration technology (e.g., Stirling cycle).
b. How does propane compare to other refrigerants for these end-uses 
with respect to SNAP criteria?
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; ecosystem effects, particularly from 
negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental and 
health risks (e.g., flammability, exposure, and toxicity) are discussed 
below. In addition, a technical support document \32\ that provides the 
Federal Register citations concerning data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., 
ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for acceptable alternatives in 
the relevant end-uses may be found in the docket for this rulemaking 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. Environmental Impacts
    The ODP is the ratio of the impact on stratospheric ozone of a 
substance compared to the impact of an identical mass of CFC-11. Thus, 
the ODP of CFC-11 is defined to be one. Other ODS have ODPs that range 
from 0.01 to 10.0.

[[Page 22825]]

    Propane has an ODP of zero.\33\ The most commonly used substitutes 
in the commercial ice machine, water cooler, and very low temperature 
refrigeration end-uses also have an ODP of zero (e.g., R-404A and R-
134a). Some less common alternatives for these end-uses, such as R-
401A, R-403B, R-414A and other blends containing HCFC-22 or HCFC-
142b,\34\ have ODPs ranging from 0.01 to 0.047. Thus, propane has an 
ODP lower than or identical to the ODPs of other alternatives in these 
end-uses.\35\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ We assume that substitutes containing no chlorine, bromine, 
or iodine have an ODP of zero.
    \34\ Under EPA's phaseout regulations, virgin HCFC-22, HCFC-
142b, and blends containing HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b may only be used to 
service existing appliances. Consequently, virgin HCFC-22, HCFC-142b 
and blends containing HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b may not be used to 
manufacture new pre-charged appliances or appliance components or to 
charge new appliances assembled onsite.
    \35\ Propane's ODP is also lower than the ODP of the ozone 
depleting substances historically used in these end-uses: CFC-12 
(ODP = 1.0); HCFC-22 (ODP = 0.055); R-13B1 (ODP = 10) and R-502 (ODP 
= 0.334).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The GWP is a means of quantifying the potential integrated climate 
forcing of various greenhouse gases relative to a value of one for 
CO2. Propane has a relatively low integrated GWP of 
three.\36\ For comparison, some other commonly used acceptable 
refrigerants in these end-uses are R-134a and R-404A, with GWPs of 
about 1,430 and 3,920, respectively. As shown in Table 2, the GWPs for 
acceptable refrigerants in commercial ice machines ranges from zero for 
ammonia vapor compression, ammonia absorption, and the not-in-kind 
Stirling cycle technology to approximately 3,990 for R-507A, while for 
water coolers, acceptable substitutes have GWPs ranging from 31 for 
THR-02 to approximately 3,990 for R-507A.\37\ In very low temperature 
refrigeration, a common refrigerant is R-508B, with a GWP of 13,400, 
while the recently listed refrigerant ethane has a GWP of approximately 
six and CO2 has a GWP of one; the GWPs for substitutes in 
this end-use range from one for CO2 to 14,800 for HFC-23. 
Propane's GWP is comparable to or significantly lower than those of 
other alternatives in these end-uses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ Unless otherwise stated, GWPs stated in this document are 
100-year integrated time horizon values taken from IPCC, 2007. 
Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
    \37\ The GWPs of the ozone-depleting substances historically 
used in these end-uses are: CFC-12 (GWP = 10,900); HCFC-22 (GWP = 
1,810); R-13B1/halon 1301 (GWP = 7,140) and R-502 (GWP = 4,660).

   Table 2--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Propane Compared to Other Refrigerants in New Commercial Ice Machines,
                      Water Coolers, and Very Low Temperature Refrigeration Equipment 1 2 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Refrigerants                   GWP             ODP                VOC                  Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Propane...........................               3               0  Yes..................  Acceptable, subject
                                                                                            to use conditions.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Commercial Ice Machines
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ammonia, HFC-134a, R-404A, R-407A,         0-3,990               0  No...................  No change.
 R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-
 410B, R-421A, R-421B, R-424A, R-
 426A, R-437A, R-448A, R-449A, R-
 450A, R-507A, R-513A.
FOR12A, FOR12B, FRIGC FR-12 (HCFC         30-3,610         0-0.009  Yes \3\..............  No change.
 Blend Beta), IKON A, IKON B, R-
 125/R-290/R-134a/R-600a (55.0/1.0/
 42.5/1.5), 417A, R-422A, R-422B,
 R-422C, R-422D, 428A, R-434A, R-
 438A, RS-24 (2002 formulation),
 RS-44 (2003 formulation), THR-02,
 THR-03.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Water Coolers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFC-134a, R-404A, R-407A, R-407C,          0-3,990               0  No...................  No change.
 R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-
 426A, R-437A, R-450A, R-507A, R-
 513A.
FOR12A, FOR-12B, FRIGC FR-12 (HCFC        30-3,090         0-0.009  Yes \3\..............  No change.
 Blend Beta), IKON B, R-125/R-290/
 R-134a/R-600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/
 1.5), R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-
 438A, RS-24 (2002 formulation),
 SP34E, THR-02, THR-04.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Very Low Temperature Refrigeration Equipment
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CO2, HFC-23, HFC-245fa, HFE-7000,         1-14,800               0  No...................  No change.
 HFE-7100, HFE-7200, R-170
 (ethane), R-404A, R-407C, R-410A,
 R-410B, R-507A, R-508A, R-508B.
ISCEON 89, R-125/R-290/R-134a/R-       2,530-8,500               0   Yes \3\.............  No change.
 600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-422B,
 R-422C, PFC-1102HC, PFC-662HC,
 PFC-552HC, and FLC-15.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-use.
\2\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely
  restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ One or more constituents of the blend are VOC.

    The overall GHG effects of these refrigerants in various end-uses 
depend upon the design of the appliances, since the ``indirect'' GHG 
emissions associated with electricity consumption typically exceed the 
GHG emissions from the refrigerants over the full lifecycle of 
refrigerant-containing products.\38\ These indirect emissions

[[Page 22826]]

occur from combustion of fossil fuel at power plants in order to supply 
electric power for operation of the refrigeration equipment. We do not 
have a practice in the SNAP program of including energy efficiency in 
the overall risk analysis. We do, however, consider issues such as 
technical needs for energy efficiency (e.g., to meet Department of 
Energy (DOE) conservation standards) in determining whether 
alternatives are ``available.'' We recognize that the energy efficiency 
of any given piece of equipment is in part affected by the choice of 
refrigerant and the particular thermodynamic and thermophysical 
properties that refrigerant possesses, as well as other factors. For 
example, appliances that are optimized for a specific refrigerant will 
operate more efficiently. While theoretical efficiency of any given 
Rankine cycle is not dependent on the refrigerant used, the 
refrigerant, the design of the equipment, and other factors will affect 
the actual energy efficiency achieved in operation. Although we cannot 
know what energy efficiency will be achieved in future products using 
propane, or any other specific acceptable refrigerant, we can point to 
both actual equipment and testing results that suggest that equipment 
optimized for propane may improve energy efficiency, and is unlikely to 
negatively impact it.39 40 41 Further, testing data, peer-
reviewed journal articles and other information provided by the 
submitters for propane in the proposed end-uses indicate that equipment 
using propane is likely to require a smaller refrigerant charge, to 
have a higher coefficient of performance, and to use less energy than 
equipment currently being manufactured that uses other refrigerants 
that currently are listed as acceptable under SNAP in these end-uses. 
Also see section VI.A.1.f below concerning the role of the DOE energy 
conservation standards in ensuring that overall energy efficiency of 
equipment will be maintained or improved over time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ RTOC, 2015. 2014 Report of the Refrigeration, Air-
Conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee. This 
document is accessible at: http://ozone.unep.org/sites/ozone/files/documents/RTOC-Assessment-Report-2014.pdf.
    \39\ Eppendorf, 2015. SNAP Information Notice for R-170 and R-
290 in Very Low Temperature Refrigeration. May, 2015.
    \40\ Manitowoc, 2015. SNAP Information Notice, September, 2013. 
EPA SNAP Submittal--Revision to Extend R-290 Use to Commercial Ice 
Machines, Manitowoc Ice, Inc. October, 2015.
    \41\ Blupura, 2015. SNAP Information Notice for R-290 in Water 
Coolers. October, 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to global impacts on the atmosphere, EPA evaluated 
potential impacts of propane and other HC refrigerants on local air 
quality. Propane is a VOC under CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) 
addressing the development of State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to 
attain and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). 
Potential emissions of VOC from all substitutes for all end-uses in the 
refrigeration and AC sector are addressed by the venting prohibition 
under CAA section 608. Under that prohibition, refrigerant substitutes 
(and thus the VOC they contain) may only be emitted where EPA issues a 
final determination exempting a refrigerant substitute from the venting 
prohibition on the basis that venting, releasing or disposing of such 
substance does not pose a threat to the environment, as proposed 
elsewhere in this action (see section VI.A.2.a, ``What is EPA's 
proposal regarding whether venting of propane in the end-uses in this 
action would pose a threat to the environment?'' below). EPA estimates 
that potential emissions of HCs, including propane, when used as 
refrigerant substitutes in all end-uses in the refrigeration and AC 
sector, have little impact on local air quality, with the exception of 
unsaturated HCs such as propylene.\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA analyzed a number of scenarios to consider the potential 
impacts on local air quality if HC refrigerants were used widely.\43\ 
The analysis considered both worst-case and more realistic scenarios. 
The worst-case scenario assumed that the most reactive HC listed as 
acceptable (isobutane) was used in all refrigeration and AC uses even 
though isobutane has not been listed acceptable for use in all 
refrigeration and AC uses, and that all refrigerant used was emitted to 
the atmosphere. In that extreme scenario, the model predicted that the 
maximum increase in any single 8-hour average ground-level ozone 
concentration would be 0.72 ppb in Los Angeles, which is the area with 
the highest level of ozone pollution in the United States. Given the 
potential sources of uncertainty in the modeling, the conservativeness 
of the assumptions, and the finding that the incremental VOC emissions 
from refrigerant emissions would not cause any area that otherwise 
would meet the 2008 ozone NAAQS to exceed it,\44\ we believe that the 
use of isobutane consistent with the use conditions required in EPA's 
regulations will not result in significantly greater risk to the 
environment than other alternatives. Further, propane is less reactive 
than isobutane and thus we reach a similar conclusion for propane.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ Ibid.
    \44\ The analysis described here was conducted prior to 
finalization of the 2015 ozone NAAQS. EPA has not yet made ozone 
attainment area designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In a less conservative analysis potential impacts on ambient ozone 
levels, EPA looked at a set of end-uses that would be more likely to 
use HC refrigerants between now and 2030, including end-uses where they 
previously have been listed as acceptable and where they are proposed 
to be acceptable under this rule. For example, we assumed use of 
propane in water coolers and commercial ice machines and in end-uses 
where it is listed as acceptable, including room air conditioners and 
household and retail food refrigeration equipment and we assumed the 
use of other HCs such as isobutane in household and retail food 
refrigeration equipment and R-441A in room air conditioners and 
household and retail food refrigeration equipment. For further 
information on the specific assumptions, see the docket for this 
rulemaking \45\ Based on this still conservative but more probable 
assessment of refrigerant use, we found that even if all the 
refrigerant in appliances in end-uses addressed in this proposed rule 
and in appliances in end-uses for which HCs are listed as acceptable 
were to be emitted, there would be a worst-case impact of a 0.15 ppb 
increase in ozone for a single 8-hour average concentration in the Los 
Angeles area, which is the area with the highest level of ozone 
pollution in the United States.\46\ In the other cities examined in the 
analysis, Houston and Atlanta, impacts were smaller (no more than 0.03 
and 0.01 ppb for a single 8-hour average concentration, 
respectively).\47\ For areas in the analysis that were not violating 
the 2008 ozone NAAQS, the impacts did not cause an exceedance of the 
2008 ozone NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
    \46\ This less conservative analysis included some use of R-443A 
in room AC units because that substitute was under evaluation for 
that end-use. Elsewhere in this proposal, we propose to find R-443A 
and propylene unacceptable in residential and light-commercial AC 
and heat pumps, including room AC units. The propylene in R-443A, 
representing 12 percent of refrigerant emitted, was responsible for 
about 75 percent of the 0.15 ppb increase in ozone in this scenario, 
while all uses of propane, representing 83 percent of refrigerant 
emitted, was responsible for about 21 percent of the increase of 
ozone in this scenario. Thus, only 0.03 ppb of the o.15 ppb observed 
in Los Angeles would be due to propane and other acceptable HCs.
    \47\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because of the relatively low air quality impacts of propane if it 
is

[[Page 22827]]

released to the atmosphere from the proposed end-uses even in a worst-
case scenario, we propose that propane does not have a significantly 
greater overall impact on human health and the environment based on its 
effects on local air quality than other refrigerants listed as 
acceptable in commercial ice machines, water coolers, and very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment.
    Propane is highly volatile and typically evaporates or partitions 
to air, rather than contaminating surface waters. Propane's effects on 
aquatic life are expected to be small and pose no greater risk of 
aquatic or ecosystem effects than those of other alternatives for these 
uses.
ii. Flammability
    Propane's flammability risks are of potential concern because 
commercial ice machines, water coolers, and very low temperature 
refrigeration equipment have traditionally used refrigerants that are 
not flammable. Without appropriate use conditions, the flammability 
risk posed by propane would be higher than non-flammable refrigerants 
because individuals may not be aware that their actions could 
potentially cause a fire. In this section, we discuss the flammability 
risks posed by propane and identify proposed use conditions that would 
mitigate those risks such that propane would not pose significantly 
greater risk due to flammability than other substitutes in these end-
uses.
    Because of its flammability, propane could pose a significant 
safety concern for workers and consumers in the end-uses addressed in 
this proposal if it is not handled correctly. In the presence of an 
ignition source (e.g., static electricity spark resulting from closing 
a door, use of a torch during service, or a short circuit in wiring 
that controls the motor of a compressor), an explosion or a fire could 
occur when the concentration of refrigerant exceeds its lower 
flammability limit (LFL). Propane's LFL is 21,000 ppm (2.1%). 
Therefore, to use propane safely, it is important to minimize the 
presence of potential ignition sources and to reduce the likelihood 
that the concentration of propane will exceed the LFL. Under the 
proposed listing decision, propane would be acceptable for use only in 
new equipment (self-contained commercial ice machines, water coolers, 
and very low temperature refrigeration equipment) specifically designed 
for this refrigerant. OSHA and building code requirements generally 
address flammability risks in the workplace and we presume that the 
original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), who would be storing large 
quantities of the refrigerant, are familiar with and use proper safety 
precautions to minimize the risk of explosion, consistent with those 
requirements. Therefore, we are not proposing use conditions to address 
workplace risk, which would be redundant of already existing 
requirements. We are proposing, however, to include recommendations in 
the ``Further Information'' section of the SNAP listings that these 
facilities be equipped with proper ventilation systems and be properly 
designed to reduce possible ignition sources.
    To determine whether flammability would be a concern for service 
personnel or for consumers, EPA analyzed a plausible worst-case 
scenario to model a catastrophic release of propane. The worst-case 
scenario analysis for water coolers and for very low temperature 
refrigeration equipment revealed that even if the unit's full charge is 
emitted within one minute, the leaked refrigerant concentration did not 
reach propane's LFL of 2.1%, provided that the charge sizes were no 
greater than those specified in the relevant standard from 
UL.48 49 We are proposing the maximum charge size specified 
in the standard as a use condition; thus, there would not be an 
unacceptable risk of fire or explosion, even under those worst-case 
assumptions, so long as the charge does not exceed the use conditions 
in this proposed rule. In the case of commercial ice machines, the 
worst-case scenario with use of a charge size of 150 g and assuming 
stratification of refrigerant into the bottom 0.4 m of the room 
resulted in attaining 102 percent of the LFL; less conservative, but 
reasonable, assumptions (e.g., larger room size, greater mixing of the 
refrigerant in the entire room, same charge size of 150 g) resulted in 
concentrations at 18 percent or less of the LFL.\50\ Thus, we expect 
there would not be an unacceptable risk of fire or explosion provided 
that the charge size is limited to 150 g. EPA also reviewed the 
submitters' detailed assessments of the probability of events that 
might create a fire and approaches to avoid sparking from the 
refrigeration equipment. Further information on these analyses and 
EPA's risk assessments are available in the docket for this rulemaking 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663). Further, service personnel or consumers may not 
be familiar with refrigeration or AC equipment containing a flammable 
refrigerant. Therefore, use conditions are necessary to ensure people 
handling such equipment are aware that equipment contains a flammable 
refrigerant and to ensure safe handling.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ ICF, 2016c. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Water Coolers Substitute: Propane (R-290).
    \49\ ICF, 2016d. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Very Low Temperature Refrigeration Substitute: Propane (R-290) 
and Ethane (R-170).
    \50\ ICF, 2016e. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Commercial Ice Machines Substitute: Propane (R-290).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

iii. Toxicity
    In evaluating potential toxicity impacts of propane on human health 
in these end-uses, EPA considered both occupational and consumer risks. 
In general when evaluating non-cancer toxicity risks of a substitute, 
we use measured exposure concentrations if available, or modeled 
exposure concentrations using conservative assumptions appropriate to 
an end-use, and compare these exposure levels to recommended or 
required exposure limits for a compound that are intended to protect 
against adverse health effects. Where measured or modeled exposure 
levels are below relevant exposure limits for a chemical, we consider 
toxicity risks to be acceptable. Other acceptable substitutes listed 
for these end-uses have been evaluated for toxicity in this manner, 
including ethane for very low temperature refrigeration, ammonia for 
commercial ice machines, and a number of HFC blends for all three end-
uses.
    EPA investigated the risk of asphyxiation and of exposure to toxic 
levels of refrigerant for a worst-case scenario and a typical use. In 
the worst-case scenario of a catastrophic leak, we modeled release of 
the unit's full charge within one minute into a confined space to 
estimate concentrations that might result. We considered a 
conservatively small space appropriate to each end-use, such as a small 
galley kitchen of 18 m\3\ for a water cooler, a kitchen of a fast food 
restaurant of 22 m\3\ for a commercial ice machine or in a laboratory 
module of 28 m\3\ for very low temperature refrigeration equipment.
    To evaluate the toxicity of propane, EPA estimated the maximum time 
weighted average (TWA) exposure both for a short-term exposure 
scenario, with a 30-minute TWA exposure, and for an 8-hour TWA that 
would be more typical of occupational exposure for a technician 
servicing the equipment or a worker disposing of appliances. We 
compared these short-term and long-term exposure values to relevant 
industry and government workplace exposure limits for propane. The 
modeling results indicate that both the

[[Page 22828]]

short-term (30-minute) and long-term (8-hour) worker exposure 
concentrations would be below the relevant workplace exposure limits, 
such as the OSHA PEL of 1000 ppm (8-hr TWA), and the National Research 
Council's Acute Emergency Guideline Limit Level 1 (AEGL-1) \51\ of 
6,900 ppm over 30 minutes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ The AEGL limit is an emergency guideline for exposures to 
the general population (including susceptible populations) and is 
not time-weighted. It also considers the chemical's flammability in 
addition to its toxicity. EPA develops a set of AEGL values for a 
substance for five exposure periods (10 and 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 
hours and 8 hours). For each exposure period, three different AEGL 
values are developed to address different levels of toxicological 
impacts. Of relevance for the modeled scenario is the AEGL-1, which 
is defined as: ``the airborne concentration, expressed as parts per 
million or milligrams per cubic meter (ppm or mg/m\3\) of a 
substance above which it is predicted that the general population, 
including susceptible individuals, could experience notable 
discomfort, irritation, or certain asymptomatic nonsensory effects. 
However, the effects are not disabling and are transient and 
reversible upon cessation of exposure.'' While permanent 
toxicological effects are not expected up to the AEGL-2 value, this 
limit is not relevant for this analysis because at that level, 
flammability would be a greater concern.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A similar analysis of asphyxiation risks considered whether a 
worst-case release of refrigerant in the same room sizes would result 
in oxygen concentrations of 12 percent or less. This analysis found 
that impacts on oxygen concentrations were minimal, with oxygen 
concentrations remaining at approximately 21 percent.
    For equipment with which consumers might come into contact, such as 
water coolers and commercial ice machines, EPA performed a consumer 
exposure analysis. In this analysis, we examined potential catastrophic 
release of the entire charge of the substitute in one minute under a 
worst-case scenario. We did not examine exposure to consumers in very 
low temperature refrigeration, as equipment for this end-use would 
typically be used in the workplace, such as in laboratories, and not in 
a home or public space. The analysis was undertaken to determine the 
30-minute TWA exposure levels for the substitute, which were then 
compared to the toxicity limit to assess the risk to consumers.
    EPA considered toxicity limits for consumer exposure that reflect a 
short-term exposure such as might occur at home or in a store or other 
public setting where a member of the general public could be exposed 
and could then escape. The toxicity limit that we used in our analysis 
of consumer exposure was an AEGL-1 of 6,900 ppm over 30 minutes. The 
analysis of consumer exposure assumed that 100 percent of the unit's 
charge would be released over one minute, at which time the 
concentration of refrigerant would peak in an enclosed space, and then 
steadily decline. Refrigerant concentrations were modeled under two air 
change scenarios, believed to represent the baseline of potential flow 
rates for a home or public space, assuming flow rates of 2.3 air 
changes per hour (ACH) in a household kitchen and 20 ACH in a 
restaurant kitchen.52 53 The highest concentrations of the 
refrigerant occur in the lower stratum of the room when assuming the 
lower ventilation level of 2.3 ACH. Calculating the TWA exposure using 
2.3 ACH results in a higher concentration than calculating the TWA 
exposure using 20 ACH. Even under the very conservative assumptions 
used in the consumer exposure modeling, the estimated 30-minute 
consumer exposures to propane are lower than the relevant toxicity 
limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ ICF, 2016c. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Water Coolers Substitute: Propane (R-290).
    \53\ ICF, 2016e. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Commercial Ice Machines Substitute: Propane (R-290).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based upon our analysis, workplace and consumer exposure to propane 
when used in these end-uses according to the proposed use conditions is 
not expected to exceed relevant exposure limits. Thus, propane does not 
pose significantly greater toxicity risks to other acceptable 
refrigerants in these end-uses. For further information, including 
EPA's risk screens and risk assessments as well as information from the 
submitters of propane as a substitute refrigerant, see docket EPA-HQ-
OAR-2015-0663.
c. What are the proposed use conditions?
    In order to ensure that use of propane in these three end-uses 
would not cause greater risk to human health or the environment than 
use of other alternatives, we have identified and are proposing use 
conditions to address flammability and toxicity concerns. The proposed 
use conditions include conditions consistent with industry standards, 
limits on charge size, and requirements for warnings and markings on 
equipment.
i. New Equipment Only; Not Intended for Use as a Retrofit Alternative
    EPA is proposing that, in the specified end-uses, propane be 
limited to use only in new equipment \54\ that has been designed and 
manufactured specifically for use with propane. Propane was not 
submitted under the SNAP program to be used in retrofitted equipment, 
and no information was provided on how to mitigate hazards of flammable 
refrigerants when used in equipment that was not designed for flammable 
refrigerants. If this use condition is finalized as proposed, use of 
propane in equipment not designed for its use, including existing 
equipment designed for another refrigerant, would be in violation of 
CAA section 612(c) and the corresponding SNAP regulations at 40 CFR 
part 82, subpart G.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ This is intended to mean a completely new refrigeration 
circuit containing a new evaporator, condenser and refrigerant 
tubing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Standards
    EPA is proposing that propane be used only in equipment that meets 
all requirements in the relevant supplements for flammable refrigerants 
in certain applicable UL standards for refrigeration and AC equipment. 
Specifically, Supplement SA to the 8th edition of UL 563 standard, 
dated July 31, 2009, applies to self-contained commercial ice machines 
using flammable refrigerants; \55\ the UL standard for water coolers 
using flammable refrigerants is Supplement SB to the 7th edition of UL 
399, dated August 22, 2008; \56\ and very low temperature refrigeration 
equipment is sufficiently similar to stand-alone commercial 
refrigerators that an appropriate standard is Supplement SB to the 10th 
edition of UL 471, dated November 24, 2010.\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ UL, 2009. Standard 563--Standard for Ice Makers. A summary 
of this document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=563.
    \56\ UL, 2008. Standard 399--Standard for Drinking-Water 
Coolers. A summary of this document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=399_7.
    \57\ UL, 2010. Standard 471--Standard for Commercial 
Refrigerators and Freezers. A summary of this document is accessible 
at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=471_10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UL has tested equipment for flammability risk in household and 
retail food refrigeration and for commercial freezers for very low 
temperature refrigeration. Further, UL has developed acceptable safety 
standards including requirements for construction, for markings, and 
for performance tests concerning refrigerant leakage, ignition of 
switching components, surface temperature of parts, and component 
strength after being scratched. These standards were developed in an 
open and consensus-based approach, with the assistance of experts in 
the AC and refrigeration industry as well as experts involved in 
assessing the safety of products. While similar standards exist from 
other bodies such as the International Electrotechnical Commission 
(IEC), we

[[Page 22829]]

are proposing to rely on UL standards as those that are most applicable 
to and recognized by the U.S. market. This proposed approach is the 
same as that adopted in our previous rules on flammable refrigerants 
(76 FR 78832, December 20, 2011; 80 FR 19453, April 10, 2015).
iii. Charge Size
    EPA is proposing use conditions that limit the amount of propane 
allowed in each refrigerant circuit to 150 g.\58\ It is necessary to 
set limits on charge size in order for propane not to pose a risk to 
human health or the environment that is greater than the risk posed by 
other substitutes. These limits will reduce the risk to workers and 
consumers since under scenarios we analyzed, a leak of the proposed 
charge sizes did not result in concentrations of the refrigerant that 
met or exceeded the LFL.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ To place this in context, a 150 g charge is about five 
times the charge in a disposable lighter (30 g).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA is proposing limitations on refrigerant charge size for self-
contained commercial ice machines, water coolers, and very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment that reflect the UL 563, UL 399, 
and UL 471 standards. As discussed above in paragraph ii of this 
section, we believe UL standards are appropriate because they are the 
most applicable to and recognized by the U.S. market and offer 
requirements developed by a consensus of experts.
    UL Standards 563 (ice machines), 399 (water coolers), and 471 
(commercial stand-alone refrigeration equipment) limit the amount of 
refrigerant leaked to 150 grams (5.29 ounces). We note that the charge 
size limit for propane in the UL standards is in line with the IEC 
60335-2-89 standard addressing these end-uses, which also has a charge 
size limit of 150 grams.
iv. Color-Coded Hoses and Piping
    EPA proposes that equipment designed for use with propane must have 
distinguishing color-coded hoses and piping to indicate use of a 
flammable refrigerant. This will help technicians immediately identify 
the use of a flammable refrigerant, thereby reducing the risk of using 
sparking equipment or otherwise having an ignition source nearby. The 
AC and refrigeration industry currently uses distinguishing colors as 
means to identify different refrigerants. Likewise, distinguishing 
coloring has been used elsewhere to indicate an unusual and potentially 
dangerous situation, for example in the use of orange-insulated wires 
in hybrid electric vehicles. Currently, no industry standard exists for 
color-coded hoses or pipes for propane. EPA is proposing that all such 
refrigerator tubing be colored red Pantone matching system (PMS) #185 
to match the red band displayed on the container of flammable 
refrigerants under the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration 
Institute (AHRI) Guideline ``N'' 2014, ``2014 Guideline for Assignment 
of Refrigerant Container Colors.'' \59\ This proposal mirrors the 
existing use condition for HCs in residential and commercial 
refrigerator-freezers, vending machines, very low temperature 
refrigeration equipment, non-mechanical heat transfer equipment and 
room air conditioners (76 FR 78832, December 20, 2011; 80 FR 19453, 
April 10, 2015). EPA wants to ensure that there is adequate notice that 
a flammable refrigerant is being used within a particular piece of 
equipment or appliance. One mechanism to distinguish hoses and pipes is 
to add a colored plastic sleeve or cap to the service tube. The colored 
plastic sleeve or cap would have to be forcibly removed in order to 
access the service tube. This would signal to the technician that the 
refrigeration circuit that she/he was about to access contained a 
flammable refrigerant, even if all warning labels were somehow removed. 
This sleeve would be of the same red color (PMS #185) and could also be 
boldly marked with a graphic to indicate the refrigerant was flammable. 
This could be a cost-effective alternative to painting or dying the 
hose or pipe.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ AHRI, 2014. Guideline N-2014 for Assignment of Refrigerant 
Container Colors. This document is accessible online at http://www.ahrinet.org/App_Content/ahri/files/Guidelines/AHRI_Guideline_N_2014.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA is particularly concerned with ensuring adequate and proper 
notification for servicing and disposal of appliances containing 
flammable refrigerants. The use of color-coded hoses, as well as the 
use of warning labels discussed below, is necessary to ensure flammable 
refrigerants can be used without presenting significantly more risk 
than other alternatives and would be consistent with other general 
industry practices. This proposed approach is consistent with the 
approach adopted in our previous rules on flammable refrigerants (76 FR 
78832, December 20, 2011; 80 FR 19453, April 10, 2015).
v. Labeling
    As a use condition, EPA is proposing to require labeling of self-
contained commercial ice machines, water coolers, and, very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment. EPA is proposing the warning 
labels on the equipment contain letters at least \1/4\ inch high and 
that they be permanently affixed to the equipment. Warning label 
language requirements are as follows:
     ``DANGER--Risk of Fire or Explosion. Flammable Refrigerant 
Used. Do Not Use Mechanical Devices To Defrost Refrigerator. Do Not 
Puncture Refrigerant Tubing.'' This marking must be provided on or near 
any evaporators that can be contacted by the consumer.
     ``DANGER--Risk of Fire or Explosion. Flammable Refrigerant 
Used. To Be Repaired Only By Trained Service Personnel. Do Not Puncture 
Refrigerant Tubing.'' This marking must be located near the machine 
compartment.
     ``CAUTION--Risk of Fire or Explosion. Flammable 
Refrigerant Used. Consult Repair Manual/Owner's Guide Before Attempting 
To Service This Product. All Safety Precautions Must be Followed.'' 
This marking must be located near the machine compartment.
     ``CAUTION--Risk of Fire or Explosion. Dispose of Properly 
In Accordance With Federal Or Local Regulations. Flammable Refrigerant 
Used.'' This marking must be provided on the exterior of the 
refrigeration equipment.
     CAUTION--Risk of Fire or Explosion Due To Puncture Of 
Refrigerant Tubing; Follow Handling Instructions Carefully. Flammable 
Refrigerant Used.'' This marking must be provided near all exposed 
refrigerant tubing.
    The warning label language is similar to or exactly the same as 
that required in UL standards: For commercial ice machines in UL 563 in 
section SB6.1, for water coolers in UL 399 in section SA6.1, and for 
commercial refrigerators and freezers, including very low temperature 
freezers, in UL 471 in section SB6.1.
    It would be difficult to see warning labels with the minimum 
lettering height requirement of \1/8\ inch in these UL standards. 
Therefore, as in the requirements in our previous HC refrigerants rules 
for residential and commercial refrigerator-freezers, vending machines, 
very low temperature refrigeration equipment, non-mechanical heat 
transfer equipment, and room air conditioners (76 FR 78832, December 
20, 2011; 80 FR 19453, April 10, 2015), EPA is proposing the minimum 
height for lettering must be \1/4\ inch as opposed to \1/8\ inch, which 
will make it easier for technicians, consumers, retail storeowners, and 
first responders to view the warning labels.

[[Page 22830]]

d. What recommendations does EPA have for the safe use of propane?
    In addition to establishing regulatory use conditions, which are 
binding on end users, EPA may also make recommendations for use of a 
substitute. EPA is proposing to recommend that only technicians 
specifically trained in handling flammable refrigerant substitutes 
dispose of or service refrigeration and AC equipment containing these 
substances. Trained technicians should know how to minimize the risk of 
fire and the procedures for using flammable refrigerant substitutes 
safely. Releases of large quantities of flammable refrigerants during 
servicing and manufacturing, especially in enclosed, poorly ventilated 
spaces or in areas where large amounts of refrigerant are stored, could 
cause an explosion if an ignition source exists nearby. For these 
reasons, technicians should be properly trained to handle flammable 
refrigerant substitutes when maintaining, servicing, repairing, or 
disposing of water coolers, commercial ice machines, and very low 
temperature freezers. In addition, EPA recommends that if propane would 
be vented, released, or disposed of (rather than recovered), as is 
proposed for the specified end-uses in this rule, the release should be 
in a well-ventilated area, such as outside of a building. Ensuring 
proper ventilation and avoiding ignition sources are recommended 
practices, whether venting or recovering a flammable refrigerant.
    The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and 
Heating (AIRAH) provides useful guidance on safety precautions 
technicians can follow when servicing equipment containing flammable 
refrigerants or when venting refrigerant. One of those practices is to 
connect a hose to the appliance to allow for venting the refrigerant 
outside.\60\ This document is included in the docket for this proposed 
rule (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ AIRAH, 2013. Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air 
Conditioning and Heating. Safety Guide: Flammable Refrigerants. 
2013. This document is accessible at: http://www.unep.fr/ozonaction/information/mmcfiles/7681-e-FlammableRefrigerantsGuideAIRAH.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We are aware that at least two organizations in the United States, 
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) and the ESCO Institute, 
have developed technician training programs in collaboration with 
refrigeration equipment manufacturers and users that address safe use 
of flammable refrigerant substitutes. In addition, EPA has reviewed 
several training programs provided as part of SNAP submissions from 
persons interested in flammable refrigerant substitutes. The agency 
intends to update the test bank for technician certification under CAA 
section 608 as we have done previously, and will consider including 
additional questions on flammable refrigerants. By adding such 
questions to the test bank, EPA would supplement but would not replace 
technician training programs currently provided by non-government 
entities. EPA will seek additional information and guidance on how best 
to incorporate this content through a separate process outside the 
scope of this final rule.
e. When would the listing apply?
    EPA proposes that this listing would apply 30 days after the date 
of publication of a final rule. This date, the same as the proposed 
effective date of this regulation, allows for the safe use of this 
substitute at the earliest opportunity.
f. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
i. How would this proposed listing relate to federal energy 
conservation standards?
    For some of the types of equipment covered in this proposal, DOE 
has established energy conservation standards. For example, DOE energy 
conservation standards apply to automatic commercial ice machines.\61\ 
Thus, total energy use with propane can be expected to be no higher 
than that required by the standards for those classes of equipment.\62\ 
DOE does not have an energy conservation standard that would apply to 
water coolers or to very low temperature refrigeration equipment. EPA 
considers technical needs for energy efficiency (e.g., to meet DOE 
energy conservation standards) in determining whether alternatives are 
``available.'' Based on available information, we found no evidence 
that propane would reduce energy efficiency or that equipment using 
propane would be unable to meet DOE energy efficiency standards in the 
end-uses proposed in this rule, and we found some evidence that propane 
may improve energy efficiency.63 64 65
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ See https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/standards_test_procedures.html.
    \62\ Refrigeration or AC equipment in the applicable covered 
equipment class would still be subject to DOE's standards, 
regardless of the refrigerant that the equipment uses. If a 
manufacturer believes that its design is subjected to undue hardship 
by DOE's regulations, the manufacturer may petition DOE's Office of 
Hearing and Appeals (OHA) for exception relief or exemption from the 
standard pursuant to OHA's authority under section 504 of the DOE 
Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7194), as implemented at subpart B of 10 
CFR part 1003. OHA has the authority to grant such relief on a case-
by-case basis if it determines that a manufacturer has demonstrated 
that meeting the standard would cause hardship, inequity, or unfair 
distribution of burdens.
    \63\ Eppendorf, 2015. SNAP Information Notice for R-170 and R-
290 in Very Low Temperature Refrigeration. May, 2015.
    \64\ Manitowoc, 2015. SNAP Information Notice, September, 2013. 
EPA SNAP Submittal--Revision to Extend R-290 Use to Commercial Ice 
Machines, Manitowoc Ice, Inc. October, 2015.
    \65\ Blupura, 2015. SNAP Information Notice for R-290 in Water 
Coolers. October, 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. How would this proposed listing relate to regulations implementing 
the venting prohibition under CAA section 608?
    Below in section VI.A.2 of this document, EPA is proposing to 
exempt propane from the venting prohibition under CAA section 608 when 
propane is used as a refrigerant in self-contained commercial ice 
machines, water coolers, or very low temperature refrigeration 
equipment.
g. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of the proposed listing of 
propane as an acceptable refrigerant in self-contained commercial ice 
machines, water coolers, and very low temperature refrigeration 
equipment, including the proposed use conditions discussed in section 
VI.A.1.c. We request comment on our risk screens and the assumptions 
and exposure and flammability levels EPA used to evaluate risk. We are 
particularly interested in comment of two of the proposed use 
conditions: (1) The use of red marking for pipes, hoses and other 
devices including direct color application on the applicable parts of 
the system, such as a red plastic sleeve (see section VI.A.1.c.iv, 
``Color-coded hoses and piping''); and (2) the UL standards that EPA 
proposes to incorporate by reference (i.e., Supplement SA to the 8th 
edition of UL 563, dated July 31, 2009, for self-contained commercial 
ice machines, Supplement SB to the 7th edition of UL 399, dated August 
22, 2008, for water coolers; and Supplement SB to the 10th edition of 
UL 471, dated November 24, 2010, for very low temperature refrigeration 
equipment.

[[Page 22831]]

2. Proposed Exemption for Propane From the Venting Prohibition Under 
CAA Section 608 for the End-Uses in the Proposed New SNAP Listing
a. What is EPA's proposal regarding whether venting of propane in the 
end-uses in this action would pose a threat to the environment?
    EPA is proposing to list the refrigerant substitute propane under 
the SNAP program as acceptable, subject to use conditions, in newly 
manufactured water coolers, self-contained commercial ice machines, and 
very low temperature refrigeration equipment. EPA is also proposing to 
exempt propane in these end-uses from the venting prohibition under CAA 
section 608(c)(2). For purposes of CAA section 608(c)(2), EPA considers 
two factors in determining whether or not venting, release, or disposal 
of a refrigerant substitute during the maintenance, servicing, 
repairing, or disposing of appliances poses a threat to the 
environment. See 69 FR 11948, March 12, 2004; 79 FR 29682, May 23, 
2014; and 80 FR 19453, April 10, 2015. First, EPA analyzes the threat 
to the environment due to inherent characteristics of the refrigerant 
substitute, such as GWP. Second, EPA determines whether and to what 
extent venting, release, or disposal actually takes place during the 
maintenance, servicing, repairing, or disposing of appliances, and to 
what extent such actions are controlled by other authorities, 
regulations, or practices. To the extent that such releases are 
adequately controlled by other authorities, EPA defers to those 
authorities.
i. Potential Environmental Impacts
    EPA has evaluated the potential environmental impacts of releasing 
into the environment propane, the substitute that we are proposing to 
list under the SNAP program as acceptable, subject to use conditions, 
in water coolers, self-contained commercial ice machines, and very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment. In particular, we assessed the 
potential impact of the release of propane on local air quality and its 
ability to decompose in the atmosphere, its ODP, its GWP, and its 
potential impacts on ecosystems.
    As explained above in section VI.A.1.b.i, ``Environmental 
impacts,'' propane's ODP is zero, its GWP is approximately three, and 
its effects on aquatic life are expected to be small. As to potential 
effects on local air quality, based on the analysis and modeling 
results described in section VI.A.1.b.i of this preamble, EPA proposes 
to conclude that release of propane from the end-uses proposed in this 
action, in addition to the HCs previously listed as acceptable, subject 
to use conditions, for their specific end-uses, is expected to have 
little impact on local air quality. In this regard, EPA finds 
particularly noteworthy that even assuming 100 percent market 
penetration of propane and the other acceptable HCs in the proposed and 
acceptable end-uses, which is a conservative assumption, the highest 
impact for a single 8-hour average concentration based on this analysis 
would be 0.03 ppb in Los Angeles.
    In addition, when examining all HC substitute refrigerants in those 
uses for which UL currently has standards in place, for which the SNAP 
program has already listed the uses as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, or for which the SNAP program is reviewing a submission, 
including those in this rule, we found that even if all the refrigerant 
in appliances in end-uses proposed as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions in this proposed rule and listed as acceptable in previous 
rules were to be emitted, there would be a worst-case impact of less 
than 0.15 ppb for ground-level ozone in the Los Angeles area.\66\ The 
use conditions established in the SNAP listings limit the total amount 
of refrigerant in each refrigerant circuit to 150 g or less, depending 
on the end-use. Because propane is not proposed to be used in all 
refrigerant uses, the total amount of propane that could be emitted in 
the end-uses evaluated is estimated at roughly ten percent of total 
refrigerant emissions, or less than 16,000 metric tons annually.\67\ 
Further, there are other substitute refrigerants that are not VOC that 
may also be used in these end-uses, so our analysis assuming complete 
market penetration of HCs is conservative. In light of its evaluation 
of potential environmental impacts, EPA proposes that propane in the 
end-uses for which it is proposed to be listed under SNAP as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, in this notice is not expected 
to pose a threat to the environment on the basis of the inherent 
characteristics of this substance and the limited quantities used in 
the relevant end-uses. In this regard, EPA finds particularly 
noteworthy that even assuming 100% market penetration of propane and 
the other acceptable HCs in the proposed and acceptable end-uses, which 
is a conservative assumption, the highest impact for a single 8-hour 
average concentration based on this analysis would be 0.03 ppb in Los 
Angeles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
    \67\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Flammability and Toxicity
    As discussed above in sections VI.A.1.b.ii, ``Flammability'' and 
VI.A.1.b.iii, ``Toxicity,'' EPA's SNAP program evaluated the 
flammability and toxicity risks from propane in the proposed end-uses 
in this rule. EPA is providing some of that information in this section 
as well.
    Propane is classified as an A3 refrigerant by ASHRAE Standard 34-
2010 and subsequent addenda, indicating that it has low toxicity and 
high flammability. Propane has an LFL of 2.1%. To address flammability 
risks, this proposal provides recommendations for its safe use (see 
section VI.A.1.d, ``What recommendations does EPA have for the safe use 
of propane?'' above). The SNAP program's analysis suggests that the 
proposed use conditions in this proposed rule will mitigate 
flammability risks.
    Like most refrigerants, at high concentrations HCs can displace 
oxygen and cause asphyxiation. Various industry and regulatory 
standards exist to address asphyxiation and toxicity risks. The SNAP 
program's analysis of asphyxiation and toxicity risks suggests that the 
proposed use conditions in this proposed rule would mitigate 
asphyxiation and toxicity risks. Furthermore, it is the Agency's 
understanding that flammability risks and occupational exposures to HCs 
are adequately regulated by OSHA and building and fire codes at a local 
and national level.
iii. Authorities, Controls, or Practices
    EPA expects that existing authorities, controls, and/or practices 
will mitigate environmental risk from the release of propane. Analyses 
performed for both this proposed rule and the SNAP rules issued in 
1994, 2011, and 2015 (59 FR 13044, March 17, 1994; 76 FR 38832, 
December 20, 2011; and 80 FR 19453, April 10, 2015, respectively)) 
indicate that existing regulatory requirements and industry practices 
limit and control the emission of propane. As explained below, EPA 
proposes that the limits and controls under other authorities, 
regulations, or practices adequately control the release of and 
exposure to propane and mitigate risks from any possible release.
    As mentioned above, the determination of whether venting, release, 
or disposal of a substitute refrigerant poses a threat to the 
environment includes considering

[[Page 22832]]

whether such venting, release, or disposal is adequately controlled by 
other authorities, regulations, or practices. This information is 
another part of EPA's proposal that the venting, release, or disposal 
of propane, in the specified end-uses and subject to the use conditions 
in this proposed action, does not pose a threat to the environment.
    Industry service practices and OSHA standards and guidelines that 
address HC refrigeration equipment include monitoring efforts, 
engineering controls, and operating procedures. OSHA requirements that 
apply during servicing include continuous monitoring of explosive gas 
concentrations and oxygen levels. In general, HC emissions from 
refrigeration systems are likely to be significantly smaller than those 
emanating from the industrial process and storage systems, which are 
controlled for safety reasons. In the SNAP listings in section 
VI.A.1.c, ``What are the proposed use conditions?'' we note that the 
amount of refrigerant substitute from a refrigerant loop is limited to 
150 g in the end-uses proposed in this rule. This indicates that HC 
emissions from such uses are likely to be relatively small.
    The release and/or disposal of many refrigerant substitutes, 
including propane, are controlled by other authorities including 
various standards, and state and local building codes. To the extent 
that release during maintaining, repairing, servicing, or disposing of 
appliances is controlled by regulations and standards of other 
authorities, these practices and controls for the use of propane are 
sufficiently protective. These practices and controls mitigate the risk 
to the environment that may be posed by the venting, release, or 
disposal of propane during the maintaining, servicing, repairing, or 
disposing of appliances.
    EPA is aware of equipment that can be used to recover HC 
refrigerants. While there are no relevant U.S. standards for such 
recovery equipment currently, to the extent that propane is recovered 
rather than vented in specific end-uses and equipment, EPA recommends 
the use of recovery equipment designed specifically for flammable 
refrigerants in accordance with applicable safe handling practices. See 
section VI.A.1.d above, ``What recommendations does EPA have for the 
safe use of propane?''
b. What is EPA's proposal regarding whether venting of propane in the 
end-uses in this action should be exempted from the venting prohibition 
under CAA section 608?
    Consistent with the proposed listing under SNAP in this action, EPA 
proposes that venting, releasing or disposing of propane in water 
coolers, self-contained commercial ice machines, and very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment is not expected to pose a threat to 
the environment. As discussed more fully above, we propose this on the 
basis of the inherent characteristics of this substance, the limited 
quantities used in the relevant end-uses, and the limits and controls 
under other authorities, regulations, or practices that adequately 
control the release of and exposure to propane and mitigate risks from 
any possible release. Accordingly, EPA is proposing to revise the 
regulations at Sec.  82.154(a)(1) to add propane in these end-uses to 
the list of substitute refrigerants that are exempt from the venting 
prohibition. We also note that EPA has recently proposed to revise the 
format of the text of this section to include separate paragraphs for 
each substitute refrigerant, rather than grouping refrigerants in an 
end-use (80 FR 69457; November 9, 2015). Thus, the final text of Sec.  
82.154(a)(1) may reflect revised language related to both the November 
2015 proposal and to this proposal.
c. When would the exemption from the venting prohibition apply?
    We are proposing that propane would be exempt from the venting 
prohibition as of 30 days after the publication of a final rule in the 
Federal Register. This would be the same as the date of the SNAP 
listing of propane in commercial ice machines, water coolers, and very 
low temperature refrigeration equipment.
d. What is the relationship between this proposed exemption under CAA 
section 608 and other EPA rules?
    If this proposed exemption were to become final as proposed, it 
would not mean that propane could be vented in all situations. Propane 
and other HCs being recovered, vented, released, or otherwise disposed 
of from commercial and industrial appliances are likely to be hazardous 
waste under RCRA (see 40 CFR parts 261 through 270). As discussed in 
the final rules addressing the venting of ethane, isobutane, propane, 
and R-441A as refrigerant substitutes in certain end-uses, incidental 
releases may occur during the maintenance, service, and repair of 
appliances subject to CAA section 608 (79 FR 29682, May 23, 2014; 80 FR 
19454, April 10, 2015). Such incidental releases would not be subject 
to RCRA requirements for the disposal of hazardous waste, as such 
releases would not constitute disposal of the refrigerant charge as a 
solid waste, per se. Disposal or venting of propane from household 
appliances used in the home, such as a water cooler, is also generally 
not considered disposal of a hazardous waste under the existing RCRA 
regulations and could be vented under the household hazardous waste 
exemption, assuming other state or local requirements do not prohibit 
venting. See 40 CFR 261.4(b)(1). However, for commercial and industrial 
appliances such as self-contained commercial ice machines, very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment, or water coolers used in an 
industrial or office setting, it is likely that propane and other 
flammable HC refrigerant substitutes would be classified as hazardous 
waste and disposal of propane from such appliances would need to be 
managed as hazardous waste under the RCRA regulations (40 CFR parts 261 
through 270), unless it is subject to a limited exception in those 
regulations if the ignitable refrigerant is to be recycled.
e. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of our proposal to exempt from 
CAA section 608's venting prohibition the venting or release of propane 
used as a refrigerant substitute in water coolers, self-contained 
commercial ice machines, and very low temperature refrigeration 
equipment, as well as seeking comment on the proposed exemption 
language at 40 CFR 82.154(a)(1).
3. Proposed Listing of New Refrigerants as Unacceptable
a. Proposed Listing of Certain Flammable Refrigerants as Unacceptable 
for Retrofits in Unitary Split AC Systems and Heat Pumps
    EPA is proposing to list the following flammable refrigerants as 
unacceptable for use in existing unitary split AC and heat pumps for 
residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps because they pose 
significantly more risk to human health or the environment than other 
available alternatives:
     All refrigerants identified as flammability Class 3 in 
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013.
     All refrigerants meeting the criteria for flammability 
Class 3 in ANSI/

[[Page 22833]]

ASHRAE Standard 34-2013. These include, but are not limited to, 
refrigerant products sold under the names R-22a, 22a, Blue Sky 22a 
refrigerant, Coolant Express 22a, DURACOOL-22a, EC-22, Ecofreeeze 22a, 
EF-22a, Envirosafe 22a, ES-22a, Frost 22a, HC-22a, Maxi-Fridge, MX-22a, 
Oz-Chill 22a, Priority Cool, and RED TEK 22a.
    Existing unitary split AC systems and heat pumps were not designed 
to use a flammable refrigerant. We are aware of instances in which 
people or property have been harmed by retrofit or so-called `drop-in' 
use of certain of the specified flammable refrigerants in equipment 
designed to use HCFC-22. For new equipment, we have listed certain 
flammable refrigerants as acceptable on the basis that flammability 
risks can be addressed in designing the equipment and mitigated through 
use conditions. In contrast, existing equipment has not been designed 
for flammable refrigerants and we have not identified appropriate use 
conditions that can manage the flammability risk for retrofits such 
that these flammable refrigerants would pose similar or lower risk than 
other available refrigerants in this end-use.
i. What is the affected end-use?
    The residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps end-use 
includes equipment for cooling air in individual rooms, in single-
family homes, and sometimes in small commercial buildings. This end-use 
differs from commercial comfort AC, which uses chillers that cool water 
that is then used to cool air throughout a large commercial building, 
such as an office building or hotel. This proposal specifically 
concerns unitary split systems and heat pumps, commonly called central 
AC. These systems include an outdoor unit with a condenser and a 
compressor, refrigerant lines, an indoor unit with an evaporator, and 
ducts to carry cooled air throughout a building. Central heat pumps are 
similar but offer the choice to either heat or cool the indoor space. 
We are proposing that certain flammable refrigerants would be listed as 
unacceptable for retrofit use in this type of equipment.
    We are not currently proposing that the unacceptability 
determination for certain flammable refrigerants applies to other types 
of residential AC and heat pump equipment, but we may do so in the 
future. The presence of a proposal for a single type of equipment 
within this end-use or listings finding certain substitutes acceptable, 
subject to use conditions, in a specific type of equipment does not 
imply that other uses are acceptable (e.g., listing as acceptable, 
subject to use conditions in new equipment does not mean retrofit use 
is acceptable). Other types of residential AC and heat pump equipment 
not included in this proposed unacceptability determination include:
     Multi-split air conditioners and heat pumps. These systems 
include one or more outdoor unit(s) with a condenser and a compressor 
and multiple indoor units, each of which is connected to the outdoor 
unit by refrigerant lines. For ductless multi-split systems, the cooled 
air exits directly from the indoor unit rather than being carried 
through ducts.
     Mini-split air conditioners and heat pumps. These systems 
include an outdoor unit with a condenser and a compressor and a single 
indoor unit that is connected to the outdoor unit by refrigerant lines. 
Cooled air exits directly from the indoor unit rather than being 
carried through ducts.
     Packaged outdoor air conditioners and heat pumps. These 
systems include an outdoor unit with a condenser and a compressor and a 
heating assembly, often used on top of the roof of a building such as a 
commercial office building or apartment building. These units carry 
cool air to the inside of the building through ducts, so they are not 
completely self-contained units; however, the refrigerant remains 
within the packaged unit, thus reducing the chance of leaks from 
refrigerant lines.
     Window air conditioners and heat pumps. These are self-
contained units that fit in a window with the condenser extending 
outside the window.
     Packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs) and packaged 
terminal heat pumps (PTHP). These are self-contained units that consist 
of a separate, un-encased combination of heating and cooling assemblies 
mounted through a wall.
     Portable room air conditioners and heat pumps. These are 
self-contained, factory-sealed, single package units that are designed 
to be moved easily from room to room and are intended to provide 
supplemental cooling within a room. These units typically have wheels 
or casters for portability and have a fan which operates continuously 
when the unit is on. Portable room air conditioners and heat pumps may 
contain an exhaust hose that can be placed through a window or door to 
eject heat to the outside.
    Compared to self-contained AC equipment such as window air 
conditioners, PTAC, PTHP, and portable room air conditioners, unitary 
split AC systems and heat pumps are much more likely to have a 
refrigerant release due to having larger charge sizes, more locations 
that are prone to leak, and because they are more likely to require 
servicing by a technician. A higher risk of refrigerant releases and a 
potential for larger releases and higher concentration releases results 
in higher risk that flammable refrigerant could be ignited from unitary 
split AC systems and heat pumps compared to self-contained equipment.
    EPA is aware of a number of situations where companies have sold 
highly flammable refrigerants for use in residential AC that have not 
been submitted to SNAP for review. EPA has conducted enforcement 
actions against companies that have sold such substitutes in violation 
of EPA's regulations.\68\ EPA is aware of multiple cases, where people 
and property using the ``22a'' refrigerant in a residential AC system 
were harmed in explosions and fires, in part because the person 
servicing the AC system was not aware that the system contained a 
highly flammable refrigerant. Considering this demonstration of the 
flammability risks of retrofitting residential AC systems as well as 
the lack of risk mitigation available for existing equipment (e.g., 
charge limits, design for reduced leakage), EPA is proposing to list R-
22a, 22a, and other similar liquified petroleum gases as unacceptable, 
as well as refrigerants with a flammability classification of 3 in 
ASHRAE 34-2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \68\ EPA, 2013. Finding of Violation, issued to Enviro-Safe 
Refrigerants, Inc. June, 2013. This document is accessible at: 
http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-07/documents/mailfov_envirosafe_06112013.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    EPA is proposing that the following flammable refrigerants be 
listed as unacceptable for retrofits in unitary split AC systems and 
heat pumps:
     All refrigerants identified as flammability Class 3 in 
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013.
     All refrigerants meeting the criteria for flammability 
Class 3 in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013. These include, but are not 
limited to, refrigerant products sold under the names R-22a, 22a, Blue 
Sky 22a refrigerant, Coolant Express 22a, DURACOOL-22a, EC-22, 
Ecofreeeze 22a, EF-22a, Envirosafe 22a, ES-22a, Frost 22a, HC-22a, 
Maxi-Fridge, MX-22a, Oz-Chill 22a, Priority Cool, and RED TEK 22a.
    ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013 assigns a safety group classification 
for each refrigerant which consists of two

[[Page 22834]]

alphanumeric characters (e.g., A2 or B1). The capital letter indicates 
the toxicity and the numeral denotes the flammability. ASHRAE 
classifies Class A refrigerants as refrigerants for which toxicity has 
not been identified at concentrations less than or equal to 400 parts 
per million (ppm) by volume, based on data used to determine TLV-TWA or 
consistent indices. Class B signifies refrigerants for which there is 
evidence of toxicity at concentrations below 400 ppm by volume, based 
on data used to determine TLV-TWA or consistent indices. The 
refrigerants are also assigned a flammability classification of 1, 2, 
or 3. Tests are conducted in accordance with ASTM E681 using a spark 
ignition source at 60 [deg]C and 101.3 kPa.\69\ Figure 1 in ANSI/ASHRAE 
Standard 15-2013 uses the same safety group but limits its 
concentration to 3,400 ppm.\70\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \69\ ASHRAE, 2013. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013: Designation and 
Safety Classification of Refrigerants.
    \70\ ASHRAE, 2013. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2013: Designation and 
Safety Classification of Refrigerants.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The flammability classification ``1'' is given to refrigerants 
that, when tested, show no flame propagation. The flammability 
classification ``2'' is given to refrigerants that, when tested, 
exhibit flame propagation, have a heat of combustion less than 19,000 
kJ/kg (8,174 British thermal units (BTU)/lb), and have a LFL greater 
than 0.10 kg/m\3\. Refrigerants within flammability classification 2 
may optionally be designated in the LFL subclass ``2L'' if they have a 
maximum burning velocity of 10 cm/s or lower when tested at 23.0 [deg]C 
and 101.3 kPa. The flammability classification ``3'' is given to 
refrigerants that, when tested, exhibit flame propagation and that 
either have a heat of combustion of 19,000 kJ/kg (8,174 BTU/lb) or 
greater or an LFL of 0.10 kg/m\3\ or lower. Thus, refrigerants with 
flammability classification ``3'' are highly flammable while those with 
flammability classification ``2'' are less flammable and those with 
flammability classification ``2L'' are mildly flammable. For both 
toxicity and flammability classifications, refrigerant blends are 
designated based on the worst-case of fractionation determined for the 
blend (which may be different when evaluating toxicity than when 
evaluating flammability).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP18AP16.001

    Refrigerants with a flammability classification of 3 identified by 
ASHRAE in ASHRAE 34-2013 include the HCs R-1150 (ethylene), R-170 
(ethane), R-1270 (propylene), R-290 (propane), R-50 (CH4), 
R-600 (n-butane), R-600a (isobutane), R-601 (n-pentane), and R-601a 
(isopentane); the HC blends R-433A, R-433B, R-433C, R-436A, R-436B, R-
441A, and R-443A; and the refrigerant blends R-429A, R-430A, R-431A, R-
432A, R-435A, and R-511A. All but one of these refrigerants contain 
HCs, with some also containing the flammable compounds dimethyl ether 
and HFC-152a.
    In addition to refrigerants specifically identified in the ASHRAE 
34-2013 standard as having a flammability classification of 3, EPA is 
proposing that refrigerants meeting the criteria of that standard are 
unacceptable. In other words, refrigerants are unacceptable if they 
exhibit flame propagation and either have a heat of combustion of 
19,000 kJ/kg (8,174 BTU/lb) or greater or an LFL of 0.10 kg/m\3\ or 
lower, when tested in accordance with ASTM E681 using a spark ignition 
source at 60 [deg]C and 101.3 kPa. We are aware of a number of 
refrigerant products sold over the internet aimed at the market for 
retrofit usage in refrigeration and AC equipment using HCFC-22 with 
names containing ``22a,'' such as R-22a, Blue Sky 22a refrigerant, 
Coolant Express 22a, DURACOOL-22a, EC-22, Ecofreeeze 22a, EF-22a, 
Envirosafe 22a, ES-22a, Frost 22a, HC-22a, Maxi-Fridge, MX-22a, Oz-
Chill 22a, and RED TEK 22a. EPA has analyzed one of these refrigerants 
and determined that it contained propane mixed with a pine-scented 
odorant. These refrigerants are also identified as flammable in their 
Safety Data Sheets and are often identified as ``liquified petroleum 
gases.'' Although none of these liquified petroleum gas refrigerants 
have been submitted to SNAP for review, EPA expects that they all are 
comparable in their flammability to propane and other refrigerants that 
meet an ASHRAE flammability classification of 3. It is our 
understanding these refrigerants are all of the same or similar 
composition, are produced by only one or two facilities using the same 
process, and then are marketed under different names.
    We request comment on whether we should list as unacceptable both 
any refrigerant that meets the criteria in ASHRAE 34-2013 for a 
flammability

[[Page 22835]]

classification of 3 and those refrigerants currently identified in the 
ASHRAE standard with a flammability classification of 3. We also 
request comment on whether the listing decision should specifically 
describe the criteria, i.e., ``Any refrigerant that (1) exhibits flame 
propagation when tested by ASTM E681 at standard temperature and 
pressure and at 60 [deg]C and (2) that either has a heat of combustion 
of 19,000 kJ/kg (8,174 BTU/lb) or greater or has an LFL of 0.10 kg/m\3\ 
or lower.''
ii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to other 
refrigerants for these end-uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; ecosystem effects, particularly from 
negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental and 
health risks (e.g., flammability, exposure, and toxicity) are discussed 
below. In addition, a technical support document \71\ that provides the 
Federal Register citations concerning data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., 
ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for acceptable alternatives in 
the relevant end-uses may be found in the docket for this rulemaking 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    EPA has listed a number of alternatives as acceptable for retrofit 
usage in unitary split AC systems and heat pumps. All of the listed 
alternatives are HFC blends, with some containing small percentages 
(approximately five percent or less) of HCs. Specific blends include: 
R-125/134a/600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), 
R-404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-417A, R-417C, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, 
R-424A, R-427A, R-434A, R-438A, R-507A, and RS-44 (2003 composition). 
These blends are all non-ozone-depleting. As shown in Table 3, they 
have GWPs ranging from approximately 1,770 for R-407C to 3,990 for R-
507A. Knowingly venting or releasing these refrigerants is limited by 
the venting prohibition under section 608(c)(2) of the CAA, codified at 
40 CFR 82.154(a)(1). The HFC components of these refrigerant blends are 
excluded from the definition of VOC under CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 
51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs to attain and maintain 
the NAAQS, while the HC components are VOC.

   Table 3--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Flammable Refrigerants Compared to Other Refrigerants for Retrofit in
  Existing Equipment for Residential and Light Commercial AC (Unitary Split AC Systems and Heat Pumps) 1 2 3 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Refrigerants                   GWP             ODP                VOC                  Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All refrigerants identified as               2-120               0  Yes \3\..............  Unacceptable.
 flammability Class 3 in ANSI/
 ASHRAE Standard 34-2013.
All refrigerants meeting the                 2-120               0  Yes \3\..............  Unacceptable.
 criteria for flammability Class 3
 in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013,
 including, but not limited \1\,
 to the products named R-22a, 22a,
 Blue Sky22a refrigerant, Coolant
 Express 22a, DURACOOL-22a, EC-22,
 Ecofreeeze EF-22a, EF-22a,
 Envirosafe 22a, ES-22, Frost 22a,
 HC-22a, Maxi-Fridge, MX-22a, OZ-
 Chill 22a, Priority Cool, and RED
 TEK22a.
R-404A, R-407A, R-407C, R-407F, R-     1,770-3,990               0  No...................  No change.
 421A, R-427A, R-507A.
Hot Shot 2, R-125/R-134a/R-600a        1,810-3,390               0  Yes \4\..............  No change.
 (28.1/70.0/1.9), R-125/R-290/R-
 134a/R-600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5),
 R-417A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-
 424A, R-427A, R-434A, R-437A, R-
 438A, RS-44 (2003 formulation).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-use.
\2\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely
  restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ The entire refrigerant or most of the constituents are VOC.
\4\ One or more constituents of the refrigerant are VOC.

    Both the currently acceptable refrigerants and those proposed to be 
unacceptable are non-ozone depleting. The refrigerants proposed to be 
unacceptable would result in higher VOC emissions than the acceptable 
refrigerants, with the saturated HCs (e.g., propane, isobutane) having 
a low impact and unsaturated HCs (e.g., propylene) having a significant 
impact (see section VI.A.1.b.i above. The refrigerants proposed to be 
unacceptable have significantly lower GWPs than the refrigerants that 
would remain acceptable.
(b) Flammability
    All refrigerants currently listed as acceptable in this end-use are 
nonflammable, resulting in no risk of fire or explosion from 
flammability of the refrigerant. In comparison, ASHRAE Class 3 
refrigerants are highly flammable. As discussed further below in 
section VI.A.3.b.iii.(b), EPA analyzed the flammability impacts of one 
ASHRAE Class 3 refrigerant, R-443A, and found that a release of the 
entire refrigerant charge inside a building from a unitary split AC 
system or heat pump could result in surpassing the LFL.\72\ Because of 
the large charge sizes required for this type of equipment and the 
similar LFLs for other ASHRAE Class 3 refrigerants, it is likely the 
LFL would be surpassed for other ASHRAE Class 3 refrigerants. Fires and 
harm to

[[Page 22836]]

people and property have already occurred in multiple cases due to 
retrofit or drop-in use of R-22a and similar products in existing 
unitary split AC systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(c) Toxicity
    The HFC components of acceptable substitutes in this end-use, as 
well as the HFC components of the unacceptable refrigerant blends have 
exposure limits, such as WEELs from the AIHA or manufacturer acceptable 
exposure limits, of 1,000 ppm on an 8-hr TWA and the HC components of 
both the acceptable refrigerants and those proposed unacceptable have 
exposure limits ranging from 500 to 1,000 ppm (8-hr TWA for TLVs from 
ACGIH and 10-hr TWA for recommended exposure limits (RELs) from NIOSH). 
Both the acceptable refrigerants and the proposed unacceptable 
refrigerants are able to be used be used in this end-use in accordance 
with their respective 8-hr or 10-hr workplace exposure limits. Acute 
exposure may also be of concern during use in unitary split AC systems 
and heat pumps because of possible exposure to consumers in the event 
of a sudden release. The currently acceptable refrigerants typically 
have high acute exposure limits for their components based upon 
cardiotoxic effects of halocarbons over 10,000 ppm (e.g., 350,000 
cardiotoxic no-observed adverse effect level for HFC-32 over 5 minutes) 
or have components with STELs or AEGLs (e.g., 8,000 ppm 10-minute AEGL-
1 for HFC-134a component). Acute exposure limits for components of the 
ASHRAE Class 3 refrigerants are comparable or lower, ranging from 1,500 
ppm (e.g., excursion limit for propylene) to 6,900 ppm (AEGL-1 over 30 
minutes for propane). Because of the large charge sizes required for 
this type of equipment and somewhat lower acute exposure limits for the 
hydrocarbon components of ASHRAE Class 3 refrigerants, acute exposure 
could be a concern for specific refrigerants. For example, as discussed 
further below in section VI.A.3.b.iii.(c), EPA analyzed the toxicity 
impacts of the propylene component of R-443A, and found that a 
catastrophic leak of that refrigerant inside a building from a unitary 
split AC system or heat pump resulted in estimated exposure levels at 
least four-fold that of the 1,500 ppm acute exposure limit.\73\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At this time, the potential reduced climate risks from using a 
highly flammable refrigerant with lower GWP does not outweigh the 
flammability risks of using these refrigerants in existing equipment 
that was designed for nonflammable refrigerants. In addition to 
flammability risk, in at least some cases, acute exposure limits of the 
proposed unacceptable refrigerants may be more difficult to attain than 
those for acceptable refrigerants in this end-use. Therefore, EPA 
proposes that the highly flammable refrigerants proposed to be 
unacceptable pose greater overall risk to human health and the 
environment than other substitutes for retrofit in the residential and 
light commercial AC and heat pumps end-use. However, the Agency may 
look back at these end-uses for other reasons if we receive information 
on how risks from the refrigerants proposed for listing as unacceptable 
can be sufficiently mitigated, we may reconsider any final action 
listing these refrigerants as unacceptable in this end use.
iv. When would the listings apply?
    EPA proposes that these listings would apply 30 days after the date 
of publication of a final rule. To date, only one of these substitutes 
have been submitted to EPA for this end-use and this submission is 
currently incomplete. Thus, under 40 CFR 82.174, manufacturers are 
prohibited from introducing them into interstate commerce for this end-
use. Thus, manufacturers and service technicians should not be 
currently using these substitutes in the manner that would be 
prohibited by this proposed listing decision. Further, a date or 30 
days after the date of publication of a final rule, the same as the 
proposed effective date of this regulation, would protect technicians 
and consumers from the risks of these substitutes at the earliest 
opportunity.
v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    EPA is not aware of other federal rules that would apply to the use 
of these flammable refrigerants for retrofits in existing unitary split 
AC systems and heat pumps.
vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on our proposal to list as unacceptable 
for retrofit use in existing unitary split AC systems and heat pumps 
all refrigerants identified as flammability Class 3 in ANSI/ASHRAE 
Standard 34-2013 and all refrigerants meeting the criteria for 
flammability Class 3 in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013, including, but 
not limited to, refrigerant products sold under the names R-22a, 22a, 
Blue Sky 22a refrigerant, Coolant Express 22a, DURACOOL-22a, EC-22, 
Ecofreeeze 22a, EF-22a, Envirosafe 22a, ES-22a, Frost 22a, HC-22a, 
Maxi-Fridge, MX-22a, Oz-Chill 22a, Priority Cool, and RED TEK 22a. The 
agency also requests comment on the proposed decision to list these 
substitutes as unacceptable 30 days after the date of publication of a 
final rule, and any additional technical information on how risks from 
the refrigerants proposed for listing as unacceptable can be 
sufficiently mitigated.
b. Proposed Listing of Propylene and R-443A as Unacceptable for New 
Residential and Light Commercial AC and Heat Pumps, Cold Storage 
Warehouses, and Centrifugal and Positive Displacement Chillers
    EPA is proposing to list the refrigerants propylene (R-1270) and R-
443A as unacceptable in new equipment in residential and light 
commercial AC and heat pumps, cold storage warehouses, and centrifugal 
and positive displacement chillers for commercial comfort AC.
i. What are the affected end-uses?
    The refrigeration and AC end-uses addressed in this action include:
    [cir] Centrifugal and positive displacement chillers;
    [cir] residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps, including 
both self-contained units (e.g., window air conditioners, PTACs and 
PTHPs, portable AC units) and split systems; and
    [cir] cold storage warehouses.
    EPA has received a submission for R-443A in new residential and 
light commercial AC and heat pumps and for new window air conditioners, 
a subset of that end-use. We have also received a submission for 
propylene for use in new chillers for commercial comfort AC 
(centrifugal and positive displacement chillers) and for cold storage 
warehouses. Because the two refrigerants, R-443A and propylene, have 
similar properties and risk profiles, we reviewed both refrigerants for 
all four end-uses.
ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    Propylene, also known as propene or R-1270, is a HC with three 
carbons, the chemical formula C3H6, and the CAS 
Reg. No. 115-17-1. R-443A is a HC blend \74\ consisting of 55 percent

[[Page 22837]]

propylene, 40 percent propane, and five percent isobutane by weight.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \74\ EPA notes that under the SNAP program, we review and list 
refrigerants with specific compositions (59 FR 13,044; March 18, 
1994). To the extent possible, we follow ASHRAE's designations for 
refrigerants. Blends of refrigerants must be reviewed separately. 
For example, we consider each blend of propane with isobutane to be 
a different and unique refrigerant, and each would require separate 
submission, review and listing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to other 
refrigerants for these end-uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; ecosystem effects, particularly from 
negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental and 
health risks (e.g., flammability, exposure, and toxicity) are discussed 
below. In addition, a technical support document \75\ that provides the 
Federal Register citations concerning data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., 
ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for acceptable alternatives in 
the relevant end-uses may be found in the docket for this rulemaking 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \75\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    Propylene and R-443A have an ODP of zero. Many acceptable 
substitutes in the refrigeration and AC end-uses addressed in this 
proposed rule also have an ODP of zero (e.g., HFCs, HFOs, 
CO2, ammonia, HCs, and not-in-kind technologies).\76\ Of the 
acceptable refrigerants having an ODP, they have ODPs ranging from 
0.00024 to 0.047.77 78 Thus, propylene and R-443A have ODPs 
comparable to or less than the ODPs of other alternatives in the end-
uses proposed in this rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \76\ We assume that substitutes containing no chlorine, bromine, 
or iodine have an ODP of zero.
    \77\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
    \78\ Under EPA's phaseout regulations, virgin HCFC-22, HCFC-
142b, and blends containing HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b may only be used to 
service existing appliances. Consequently, virgin HCFC-22, HCFC-142b 
and blends containing HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b may not be used to 
manufacture new pre-charged appliances or appliance components or to 
charge new appliances assembled onsite. Substitutes containing these 
HCFCs have ODPs ranging from 0.01 to 0.065. Class I and II ODS 
historically used as refrigerants in these end-uses have ODPs that 
range from 0.01 to 1.0.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Propylene and the components of R-443A have relatively low GWPs of 
less than ten. As shown in Table 4, GWPs of acceptable refrigerants in 
these end-uses range from zero to 3,990, depending on the specific end-
use. (Elsewhere in this proposal, we propose to find unacceptable a 
number of higher GWP blends for use in new chillers and new cold 
storage warehouses; if that portion of this proposed rule was finalized 
as proposed, the highest GWP for any acceptable refrigerant in new 
chillers would be 630 and in new cold storage warehouses would be 
approximately 1,830.) The GWPs of propylene and R-443A are comparable 
to or higher than those of CO2, propane, isobutane, R-441A, 
ammonia, HFO-1234ze(E), trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, and 
not-in-kind technologies such as Stirling cycle, water/lithium bromide 
absorption, dessicant cooling, or evaporative cooling, each of which is 
acceptable in new equipment for one or more of the four proposed end-
uses. In addition, propylene and R-443A have lower GWPs than those of 
ODS historically used in these end-uses, CFC-12 (GWP = 10,900); HCFC-22 
(GWP = 1,810); and R-502 (GWP = 4,660).\79\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \79\ IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science 
Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment 
Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Solomon, 
S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor 
and H.L. Miller (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 
United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. This document is accessible 
at: www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html.

  Table 4--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Propylene and R-443A Compared to Other Refrigerants in New Equipment for
 Residential and Light Commercial AC and Heat Pumps, Cold Storage Warehouses, Centrifugal Chillers and Positive
                                          Displacement Chillers 1 2 3 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Refrigerants                GWP               ODP                   VOC                Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Propylene, R-443A................          2-3  0...................  Yes.................  Unacceptable.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             New Residential and Light Commercial AC and Heat Pumps
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFC-32 \3\, HFC-134a, R-404A, R-     675-3,990  0...................  No..................  No change.
 407A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-
 410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-507A.
R-290 \ 3\, R-441A \3\, THR-03         3-3,390  0...................  Yes \4\.............  No change.
 \3\, R-125/R-134a/R-600a (28.1/
 70.0/1.9), R-125/R-290/R-134a/R-
 600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-
 422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-
 434A, R-437A, R-438A, RS-44
 (2003 formulation).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           New Cold Storage Warehouses
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CO2, R-450A, R-513A..............        1-630  0-0.040.............  No..................  No change.
IKON A, IKON B, RS-24 (2002           30-1,825  0...................  Yes \4\.............  No change.
 composition), RS-44, SP34E, THR-
 02, THR-03, THR-04.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            New Centrifugal Chillers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ammonia, HFO-1234ze(E), trans-1-         0-630  0-0.00034...........  No..................  No change.
 chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-
 ene, R-450A, R-513A.
IKON A, IKON B, THR-02...........       30-920  Not public..........  Yes \4\.............  No change.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       New Positive Displacement Chillers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ammonia, HFO-1234ze(E), R-450A, R-       0-631  0...................  No..................  No change.
 513A.

[[Page 22838]]

 
IKON B, THR-02...................        0-920  0...................  Yes \4\.............  No change.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-use.
\2\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely
  restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ Listed only for use in room AC units.
\4\ One or more constituents of the refrigerant are VOC.

    In addition to global impacts on the atmosphere, EPA evaluated 
potential impacts of propylene and the components of R-443A on local 
air quality. Propylene and the three components of R-443A, propylene, 
propane and isobutane are not excluded from the definition of VOC under 
CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of 
SIPs to attain and maintain the NAAQS. However, there is a significant 
difference in the photochemical reactivity between propylene and the 
other two HCs. Propylene, because it has an unsaturated double bond 
between two carbons, is significantly more reactive in the atmosphere 
than propane, the saturated HC with the same number of carbon atoms, 
and isobutane. For example, the Maximum Incremental Reactivity (MIR) of 
propylene, in gram ozone per gram of the substance, is 11.57 while the 
MIR of propane is 0.56 g O3/g and the MIR of isobutane is 
1.34 g O3/g.\80\ Thus, propylene is roughly 21 times more 
reactive than propane and roughly nine times more reactive than 
isobutane for the same mass. Propylene is also more than 100 times more 
reactive than HFC-134a (MIR < 0.1) and a number of other HFCs 
acceptable for these end-uses and is significantly more reactive than 
unsaturated halogenated substitutes in these end-uses, such as HFO-
1234yf (MIR = 0.28), HFO-1234ze(E) (MIR = 0.098), or trans-1-chloro-
3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene (Solstice \TM\ 1233zd(E)) (MIR = 0.040).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \80\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on analyses described below, EPA estimates that potential 
emissions of saturated HCs if used as refrigerant substitutes in all 
end-uses in the refrigeration and AC sector would have little impact on 
local air quality, while emissions of propylene, including propylene 
from R-443A, could have a significant negative impact.\81\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \81\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA analyzed a number of scenarios to consider the potential 
impacts on local air quality if HC refrigerants were used widely. We 
used EPA's Vintaging Model to estimate the HC emissions from these 
scenarios and EPA's Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model to 
assess their potential incremental contributions to ground-level ozone 
concentrations.\82\ The first analysis assumed that all refrigerant 
used was emitted to the atmosphere, as it could be if refrigerants were 
exempted from the venting prohibition of CAA section 608. In that 
highly conservative scenario, the model predicted that the maximum 
increase in the 8-hour average ground-level ozone concentration would 
be 0.72 parts per billion (ppb) in Los Angeles if the most reactive 
saturated HC, isobutane, were the only refrigerant and it was all 
emitted to the atmosphere. If the unsaturated HC propylene was assumed 
to be the only refrigerant used in equipment and it was all emitted (if 
it were to be exempted from the venting prohibition under CAA section 
608), the model predicted that the maximum increase in the 8-hour 
average ground-level ozone concentration would be 6.61 ppb in Los 
Angeles, which is the area with the highest level of ozone pollution in 
the United States. For purposes of comparison, the ground-level ozone 
limit under the NAAQS has been 75 ppb since 2008.\83\ We have concerns 
that widespread emissions of propylene from use as a refrigerant could 
interfere with the ability of some nonattainment areas to reach 
attainment, both with the 2008 NAAQS and the new, more stringent 
standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
    \83\ The standard has recently been lowered to 70 ppb (80 FR 
65292; October 26, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA also performed less conservative analyses that considered the 
end-uses where these refrigerants would more likely be used, based upon 
submissions received and upon end-uses where there are industry 
standards addressing the use of flammable refrigerants. Propylene was 
previously listed as an acceptable substitute in industrial process 
refrigeration. EPA has received submissions for use of R-443A in 
residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps and window air 
conditioners. We have received a SNAP submission for use of propylene 
in cold storage warehouses and in commercial comfort AC in chillers, 
and have received inquiries about using propylene in retail food 
refrigeration. In addition, EPA is aware that UL has developed 
standards addressing use of flammable refrigerants in stand-alone 
retail food refrigeration equipment and coolers; vending machines; 
water coolers; commercial ice machines; household refrigerators and 
freezers; and room air conditioners; and is currently developing 
revisions to UL 1995 for residential AC equipment. Thus, we considered 
scenarios where propylene would be used and emitted (1) in all 
stationary AC and refrigeration end-uses, but excluding MVAC, (2) in 
all refrigeration end-uses and all AC end-uses except for MVAC and 
chillers for commercial comfort AC. For further details on the 
scenarios and end-uses in the analysis, see the docket for this 
rulemaking.\84\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ ICF, 2016g. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Chillers and Cold Storage Warehouses. Substitute: Propylene (R-
1270).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on this still conservative assessment of refrigerant use, we 
found that if all the refrigerant in appliances in the end-uses 
analyzed were to be emitted, there would be a worst-case impact of 4.47 
ppb ozone in the Los Angeles area. In the other cities examined in the 
analysis, Houston and Atlanta, which have also had historically high 
levels of ambient ozone, impacts were smaller (as much as 0.67 and 0.39 
ppb, respectively).\85\ Approximately 72-73 percent of the emissions 
were estimated to come from the residential and light commercial AC and 
heat pumps end-use in those less conservative analyses, indicating that 
emissions from this end-use could have a particularly large impact. 
Both the

[[Page 22839]]

most conservative as well as the less conservative but more probable 
assessments indicated there could be significant air quality impacts of 
these refrigerants if they are released to the atmosphere.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A more recent analysis specifically examining use of R-443A and 
propylene in residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps, cold 
storage warehouses, and commercial comfort AC (centrifugal and positive 
displacement chillers) found noticeable impacts from these end-uses. If 
propylene were the only refrigerant in these end-uses and it was 
emitted from residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps and 
cold storage warehouses,\86\ the analysis indicated there would be a 
worst-case impact of 4.45 ppb ozone in the Los Angeles area, 1.21 ppb 
in Houston, and 0.65 in Atlanta, respectively.87 88 Assuming 
that propylene were used in all cold storage warehouses and centrifugal 
and positive displacement chillers; room air conditioners could use 
either R-443A or the currently listed VOC refrigerants propane or R-
441A; other residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps all used 
R-443A; and these refrigerants were all emitted from cold storage 
warehouses and residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps, 
there would be a worst-case impact of 2.57 ppm ozone in the Los Angeles 
area, 0.77 ppb in Houston, and 0.44 ppb in Atlanta, 
respectively.89 90
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \86\ The analysis assumed that local and state safety 
regulations required recovery of refrigerant from commercial comfort 
air conditioning equipment.
    \87\ ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
    \88\ ICF, 2016g. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Chillers and Cold Storage Warehouses. Substitute: Propylene (R-
1270).
    \89\ ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
    \90\ ICF, 2016g. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Chillers and Cold Storage Warehouses. Substitute: Propylene (R-
1270).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Propylene and R-443A in the proposed end-uses would be subject to 
the CAA section 608 venting prohibition unless EPA were to issue a 
final rule specifically exempting them; EPA is not proposing such an 
exemption in this rulemaking. While potential air quality impacts of 
propylene and R-443A would likely be reduced through the CAA section 
608 venting prohibition, we do not consider this sufficient to mitigate 
the risks of these refrigerants in the proposed end-uses, particularly 
in light of their photochemical reactivity and toxicity. EPA is not 
aware of commercially available recovery equipment for flammable 
refrigerants (e.g., built with spark-proof components and other 
features to reduce flammability risks), and without such equipment, 
emissions could occur. Further, other emissions could occur that are 
not subject to the venting prohibition and no equipment is free of 
refrigerant emissions. Because of the reactivity of these refrigerants, 
those emissions could interfere with the ability of some nonattainment 
areas to reach attainment, both with the 2008 NAAQS and the new, more 
stringent standard.
    Ecosystem effects, primarily effects on aquatic life, of the 
substitutes are expected to be small as are the effects of other 
acceptable substitutes. Propylene, propane and isobutane are all highly 
volatile and would evaporate or partition to air, rather than 
contaminate surface waters. Neither propylene nor R-443A pose a greater 
risk of aquatic or ecosystem effects than those of other substitutes 
for these uses.
(b) Flammability
    Propylene and R-443A are both designated as A3 refrigerants 
according to ASHRAE 34-2013 and subsequent addenda. Thus, their 
flammability is comparable to that of ethane, propane, isobutane, and 
R-441A, other refrigerants that EPA has listed as acceptable, subject 
to use conditions, in a number of end-uses (76 FR 78832, December 20, 
2011; 80 FR 19454, April 10, 2015).
    Due to their flammable nature, propylene and R-443A could pose a 
significant safety concern for workers and consumers if they are not 
properly handled. In the presence of an ignition source (e.g., static 
electricity spark resulting from closing a door, using a torch during 
service, or a short circuit in wiring that controls the motor of a 
compressor), an explosion or a fire could occur when the concentration 
of refrigerant exceeds its LFL. The LFLs of the substitutes are: 2.03 
percent for R-443A \91\ and 2.0 percent for propylene.\92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ A.S. Trust & Holdings, 2014. Response to Incompleteness 
Letter from A.S. Trust & Holdings to EPA--Sent March 7, 2014.
    \92\ Airgas, 2015. Safety Data Sheet for Propylene.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To determine whether flammability would be a concern for 
manufacturing and service personnel or for consumers, EPA analyzed a 
plausible worst-case scenario to model a catastrophic release of the 
refrigerants. The worst-case scenario analysis for each refrigerant 
revealed that even if the full charge of a window AC unit is emitted 
within one minute, neither of these refrigerants reached their 
respective LFLs. However, for larger residential AC systems, such as 
for a unitary split AC system, charges are significantly higher, and a 
catastrophic leak of refrigerant inside a building could result in 
surpassing the LFL.93 94 For chillers, our risk screen found 
that an instantaneous release of the entire charge of propylene from a 
small chiller (charge size of around 12 kg) would not exceed the LFL, 
but release of larger charge sizes (e.g., 315 kg) would result in 
exceeding the LFL by ten-fold or more.\95\ Thus, flammability would be 
a concern for equipment with large charge sizes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \93\ ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
    \94\ ICF, 2016g. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Chillers and Cold Storage Warehouses. Substitute: Propylene (R-
1270).
    \95\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA also reviewed the submitters' detailed assessments of the 
probability of events that might create a fire and engineering risk and 
approaches to avoid sparking from the refrigeration equipment. Further 
information on these analyses and EPA's risk assessments are available 
in public docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663. Manufacturing and service 
personnel or consumers may not be familiar with refrigeration or AC 
equipment containing a flammable refrigerant. Thus, additional risk 
mitigation would be appropriate. Use conditions such as those recently 
finalized for ethane, isobutane, propane, and R-441A could potentially 
be adopted by regulation as use conditions to mitigate flammability 
concerns from propylene and R-443A in end-uses for self-contained 
refrigeration and AC equipment such as stand-alone retail food 
refrigeration units, household refrigerators and freezers, vending 
machines, and room air conditioners for residential and light 
commercial AC and heat pumps. We further note that refrigerant handling 
equipment designed to be used safely with flammable refrigerants are 
not commercially available in the United States nor are standards to 
test and certify such equipment in place. Assuming these substitutes 
would not be exempted from the venting prohibition under CAA section 
608 due to potential local air quality impacts, the lack of such 
equipment and standards for refrigerant recovery calls into

[[Page 22840]]

question whether flammability risks could be adequately addressed 
through use conditions at this time.
(c) Toxicity
    In evaluating potential toxicity impacts of propylene and R-443A on 
human health, EPA considered both occupational risk, and for end-uses 
in the household or in retail establishments, also consumer risks. EPA 
investigated the risk of asphyxiation and of exposure to toxic levels 
of refrigerant for a plausible worst-case scenario and a typical use 
scenario for each refrigerant. In the worst-case scenario of a 
catastrophic leak, we modeled release of the unit's full charge within 
one minute into a confined space to estimate concentrations that might 
result. We considered a conservatively small space appropriate to each 
end-use, such as a small utility room of 18 m\3\ for a unitary split AC 
system, or a small bedroom of 41 m\3\ for a room air conditioner. EPA 
used the same assumptions when evaluating other substitutes, such as 
CO2, HFC-32, propane and R-441A.
    To evaluate toxicity of both refrigerants, EPA estimated the 
maximum TWA exposure both for a short-term exposure scenario, with a 
30-minute TWA exposure, and for an 8-hour TWA that would be more 
typical of occupational exposure for a technician servicing the 
equipment. We compared these short-term and long-term exposure values 
to relevant industry and government workplace exposure limits for 
propylene and the components of R-443A (including potential 
impurities). The modeling results indicate that both the short-term 
(30-minute) and long-term (8-hour) worker exposure concentrations would 
be below the relevant workplace exposure limits, such as the OSHA PEL, 
the NIOSH REL, or the ACGIH's TLV in cold storage warehouses, 
commercial comfort AC equipment, and residential and light commercial 
AC and heat pumps.\96\ Because there is not an established short-term 
exposure limit (STEL) for propylene, propane, or isobutane, we 
considered information on short-term exposure such as a short-term 
excursion limit based on the TLV or the National Research Council's 
AEGL. The respective workplace exposure limits we considered for the 
various compounds, including components of the refrigerant blend R-
443A, are as follows:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \96\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Isobutane: 800 ppm REL on 10-hr TWA; 6,900 ppm over 30 
minutes
     Propane: 1,000 ppm PEL/TLV on 8-hr TWA; 6,900 ppm AEGL-1 
over 30 minutes
     Propylene: 500 ppm TLV on 8-hr TWA; 1,500 ppm excursion 
limit over 30 minutes
    In comparison, HFCs and the HFC components of acceptable 
substitutes in these end-uses, have exposure limits, such as WEELs from 
the AIHA or manufacturer acceptable exposure limits, of 1,000 ppm on an 
8-hr TWA and the HC components of both the acceptable refrigerants and 
those proposed unacceptable have exposure limits ranging from 500 to 
1,000 ppm (8-hr TWA for TLVs from ACGIH and 10-hr TWA for recommended 
exposure limits (RELs) from NIOSH). HFOs acceptable in centrifugal and 
positive displacement chillers have WEELs of 800 ppm. Both the 
acceptable refrigerants and the proposed unacceptable refrigerants are 
able to be used in these end-uses in accordance with their respective 
workplace exposure limits.
    For equipment with which consumers might come into contact, such as 
residential air conditioners and heat pumps, EPA also performed a 
consumer exposure analysis. In this analysis, we examined potential 
catastrophic release of the entire charge of the substitute in one 
minute under a worst-case scenario. We did not examine exposure to 
consumers in cold storage warehouses and commercial comfort AC 
(chillers), since such equipment is typically used in workplaces where 
access is controlled and not in homes or public spaces. The analysis 
was undertaken to determine the 30-minute TWA exposure levels for the 
substitute, which were then compared to the toxicity limits to assess 
the risk to consumers.
    EPA considered toxicity limits for consumer exposure that reflect a 
short-term exposure such as might occur at home or in a store or other 
public setting where a member of the general public could be exposed 
and could then escape. Specific toxicity limits that we used in our 
analysis of consumer exposure include:

 Isobutane: 6,900 ppm over 30 minutes \97\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \97\ EPA selected this value as analogous to the AEGL-1 of 6,900 
ppm over 30 minutes for propane, another saturated hydrocarbon with 
similar chemical properties.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Propane: 6,900 ppm AEGL-1 over 30 minutes \98\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \98\ The Acute Emergency Guideline Limit (AEGL) is an emergency 
guideline for exposures to the general population (including 
susceptible populations) and is not time-weighted. It also considers 
the chemical's flammability in addition to its toxicity. EPA 
develops a set of AEGL values for a substance for five exposure 
periods (10 and 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours and 8 hours). For each 
exposure period, three different AEGL values are developed to 
address different levels of toxicological impacts. Of relevance for 
the modeled scenario is the AEGL-1, which is defined as: ``the 
airborne concentration, expressed as parts per million or milligrams 
per cubic meter (ppm or mg/m\3\) of a substance above which it is 
predicted that the general population, including susceptible 
individuals, could experience notable discomfort, irritation, or 
certain asymptomatic nonsensory effects. However, the effects are 
not disabling and are transient and reversible upon cessation of 
exposure.'' While permanent toxicological effects are not expected 
up to the AEGL-2 value, this limit is not relevant for this analysis 
because at that level, flammability would be a greater concern.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Propylene: 1,500 ppm excursion limit \99\ over 30 minutes
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \99\ There are no short term exposure limits available for 
propylene (e.g., AEGL-1, NIOSH STEL, ACGIH STEL). This compound is 
sufficiently different chemically from propane (e.g., contains a 
double bond) that we could not select an analogous AEGL. Therefore, 
EPA developed a short-term excursion limit based upon ACGIH 
recommendations. The ACGIH recommends that short-term exposures of 
chemicals not surpass three times the 8-hr TWA TLV over 15 minutes 
and at no time surpass five times the 8-hr TWA TLV. For propylene, 
this equates to 1,500 to 2,500 ppm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The analysis of consumer exposure assumed that 100 percent of the 
unit's charge would be released over one minute, at which time the 
concentration of refrigerant would peak in an enclosed space, and then 
steadily decline. Refrigerant concentrations were modeled under two air 
change scenarios, believed to represent the baseline of potential flow 
rates for a home or other public space, assuming flow rates of 0.11 and 
0.67 ACH.\100\ Under the conservative assumptions used in the consumer 
exposure modeling, the estimated 30-minute consumer exposures to the 
refrigerants exceed the toxicity limits for the propylene component of 
R-443A in all cases but the least conservative. The least conservative 
scenario assumed the highest ventilation rate and the lowest charge 
size (160 g) evaluated, as well as assuming complete mixing of the 
refrigerant rather than stratification (i.e., refrigerant pooling near 
the floor). All of the other estimates of exposure exceeded the 1,500 
ppm excursion limit for propylene, with estimates ranging from 
approximately 1,520 ppm to 9,700 ppm. This occurred for lower or higher 
charge sizes ranging from 160 g to 1,500 g; lower or higher ventilation 
levels of 0.11 or 0.67 ACH; and, except for the smallest charge size, 
whether stratification was assumed to occur or not. In comparison, EPA 
previously found that a charge of 180 g of propane

[[Page 22841]]

in a room air conditioner could meet its AEGL-1 and a charge of 195 g 
of R-441A in a room air conditioner could meet the various short-term 
exposure limits for its components under the same assumptions of 
ventilation, stratification, and room size.101 102 Thus, EPA 
has concern about the exposure levels and toxicity of propylene and R-
443A in residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \100\ ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
    \101\ ICF, 2014b. Risk Screen on Substitutes for HCFC-22 in 
Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps; 
Substitute: Propane (R-290).
    \102\ ICF, 2014c. Risk Screen on Substitutes for HCFC-22 in 
Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps; 
Substitute: R-441A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In comparison, the currently acceptable refrigerants typically have 
high acute exposure limits for their components based upon cardiotoxic 
effects of halocarbons over 10,000 ppm (e.g., 350,000 cardiotoxic no-
observed adverse effect level for HFC-32 over 5 minutes) or have 
components with STELs or AEGLs (e.g., 8,000 ppm 10-minute AEGL-1 for 
HFC-134a component). Acute exposure limits for propylene and R-443A's 
components range from 1,500 ppm for propylene to 6,900 ppm (AEGL-1 over 
30 minutes for propane). Because of the relatively low acute exposure 
limit for propylene, acute exposure is a greater concern than for other 
acceptable refrigerants in residential and light commercial AC systems 
and heat pumps.
    In summary, EPA's concerns about propylene and R-443A encompass 
both toxicity and exposure and impacts of these refrigerants on local 
air quality.\103\ Other acceptable refrigerants are available in the 
same end-uses that offer lower toxicity and air quality impacts, and 
similar flammability, GWP, and ODP when compared to R-443A and 
propylene. Thus, we are proposing to list propylene and R-443A as 
unacceptable in these end-uses because they pose significantly more 
risk than other available refrigerants. For further information, 
including EPA's risk screens and risk assessments as well as 
information from the submitters of the substitutes, see docket EPA-HQ-
OAR-2015-0663.
iv. When would the listings apply?
    EPA proposes that this listing would apply 30 days after the date 
of publication of a final rule. To our knowledge, manufacturers and 
service technicians are not currently using these substitutes in the 
proposed end-uses. We note that EPA has only recently found submissions 
complete for these substitutes, and under the SNAP program regulations, 
a substitute may not be introduced into interstate commerce prior to 90 
days after EPA receives a complete submission. Further, a date of 30 
days after the date of publication of a final rule, the same as the 
proposed effective date of this regulation, would protect against the 
risks of these substitutes at the earliest opportunity.
v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    DOE has indicated its intent to issue a proposed energy 
conservation standard for portable air conditioners, a subset of the 
residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps end-
use. For information on DOE's 2015 Fall Regulatory Agenda, see http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201510&RIN=1904-AD02. 
Information on other federal rules that may apply to centrifugal 
chillers, positive displacement chillers, and cold storage warehouses 
is available in sections VI.A.4.a.vi, VI.A.4.b.vi, and VI.A.4.c.v 
below. We note that since these two refrigerants are currently not 
being used in these types of equipment in the United States, we expect 
this regulation, if finalized as proposed, would have no impact on 
compliance with federal energy conservation standards.
vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on our proposal to list the refrigerants 
propylene (R-1270) and R-443A as unacceptable in new equipment in 
residential and light commercial AC and heat pumps, cold storage 
warehouses, and centrifugal and positive displacement chillers for 
commercial comfort AC. EPA specifically requests comment on the 
proposed decision to list these refrigerants as unacceptable 30 days 
after the date of publication of a final rule, and the end-uses 
proposed here.
4. Proposed Changes in Listing Status
a. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for New 
Centrifugal Chillers
    As provided in the following table, EPA is proposing to change the 
status of numerous refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable for new 
centrifugal chillers:

    Table 5--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for New Centrifugal
                                Chillers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                 Substitutes        Proposed decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Centrifugal chillers (new     FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-  Unacceptable as of
 only).                        134a, HFC-227ea,      January 1, 2024,
                               HFC-236fa, HFC-       except where
                               245fa, R-125/134a/    allowed under a
                               600a (28.1/70/1.9),   narrowed use limit.
                               R-125/290/134a/600a
                               (55.0/1.0/42.5/
                               1.5), R-404A, R-
                               407C, R-410A, R-
                               410B, R-417A, R-
                               421A, R-422B, R-
                               422C, R-422D, R-
                               423A, R-424A, R-
                               434A, R-438A, R-
                               507A, RS-44 (2003
                               composition), and
                               THR-03.
Centrifugal Chillers (new     HFC-134a............  Acceptable, subject
 only).                                              to narrowed use
                                                     limits, for
                                                     military marine
                                                     vessels, as of
                                                     January 1, 2024.
Centrifugal Chillers (new     HFC-134a and R-404A.  Acceptable, subject
 only).                                              to narrowed use
                                                     limits, for human-
                                                     rated spacecraft
                                                     and related support
                                                     equipment, as of
                                                     January 1, 2024.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. What is the affected end-use?
(a) Overview of Equipment Covered
    In the initial rule establishing the SNAP program (59 FR 13044; 
March 18, 1994), EPA included within the refrigeration and AC sector 
the end-use ``commercial comfort air conditioning'' and then elaborated 
on that end-use saying that ``CFCs are used in several different types 
of mechanical commercial comfort AC systems, known as chillers.'' EPA 
indicated ``that over time, existing cooling capacity [from chillers] 
will be either retrofitted or replaced by systems using non-CFC 
refrigerants in a vapor compression cycle or by alternative 
technologies.''

[[Page 22842]]

We also explained in that rule that vapor compression chillers can be 
categorized by the types of compressor used, including centrifugal, 
rotary, screw, scroll and reciprocating compressors. These compressor 
types are also divided into centrifugal and positive displacement 
chillers, the latter of which includes those with reciprocating, screw, 
scroll or rotary compressors. This section of the proposed rule covers 
centrifugal chillers.
    Centrifugal chillers are equipment that utilize a centrifugal 
compressor in a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle. Centrifugal 
chillers are typically used for commercial comfort AC although other 
uses do exist. Centrifugal chillers can be found in office buildings, 
hotels, arenas, convention halls, airport terminals and other 
buildings. Centrifugal chillers tend to be used in larger buildings.
    For commercial comfort and some other applications, centrifugal 
chillers typically cool water that is then pumped to fan coil units or 
other air handlers to cool the air that is supplied to the occupied 
spaces transferring the heat to the water. The heat absorbed by the 
water can then be used for heating purposes, and/or can be transferred 
directly to the air (``air-cooled''), to a cooling tower or body of 
water (``water-cooled'') or through evaporative coolers (``evaporative-
cooled''). A centrifugal chiller or a group of centrifugal chillers 
could similarly be used for district cooling where the chiller plant 
cools water or another fluid that is then pumped to multiple locations 
being served such as several different buildings within the same 
complex. All such centrifugal chillers are covered by this section of 
the proposed rule.
    Centrifugal chillers are used for other applications besides 
commercial comfort AC and are covered under this section of the 
proposed rule. For instance, centrifugal chillers used to cool 
equipment, such as in data centers, are covered under this section of 
the proposed rule.
(b) What other types of equipment are used for similar applications but 
are not covered by this section of the proposed rule?
    Other equipment including packaged rooftop units and split system 
air conditioners, both of which fall under the SNAP end-use ``household 
and light commercial air conditioning,'' can also be used for 
commercial comfort AC, typically for smaller capacity needs. These 
equipment types are not centrifugal chillers and hence are not covered 
under this section of the proposed rule.
(c) What refrigerants are used in centrifugal chillers?
    Centrifugal chillers historically employed either CFC-11 (called 
``low pressure chillers'') or CFC-12 (``high pressure chillers''), 
although other CFCs have been used, including CFC-114 and R-500 (a 
blend of CFC-12 and HFC-152a). When the production and consumption of 
CFCs were phased out in the United States in the 1990s, centrifugal 
chillers was one of the first end-uses to be redesigned for alternative 
refrigerants and HCFC-123 and HFC-134a became the primary refrigerants 
used in centrifugal chillers. HCFC-123 was used in low pressure 
chillers while HFC-134a was used in high pressure chillers. Both of 
these alternatives continue to be used today. HCFC-22 was also used in 
some centrifugal chillers, primarily only in equipment produced before 
approximately the year 2000. HFC-245fa was also identified as a 
possible refrigerant for low pressure centrifugal chillers, but has 
found only limited use.
    More recently, centrifugal chillers that use alternatives listed as 
acceptable have been demonstrated or announced. For instance, one 
manufacturer has introduced centrifugal chillers using trans-1-chloro-
3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, a nonflammable low-GWP refrigerant.\104\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \104\ Cooling Post, 2014. Trane first with 1233zd chiller, June 
30, 2014. This document is accessible at www.coolingpost.com/world-news/trane-first-with-1233zd-chiller/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    For new centrifugal chillers, EPA is proposing to change the status 
of the following refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable: FOR12A, 
FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, HFC-236fa, HFC-245fa, R-125/134a/600a 
(28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, 
R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-423A, R-424A, 
R-434A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition), and THR-03.
iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to other 
refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    For new centrifugal chillers, acceptable refrigerants for which we 
are not proposing a change of status in this end-use include: HFO-
1234ze(E), IKON A, IKON B, R-450A, R-513A, R-717 (ammonia), THR-02, and 
trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene.
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \105\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for acceptable alternatives for new centrifugal chillers may be found 
in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \105\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    The refrigerants for which we are proposing a change of status have 
an ODP of zero. Other alternatives also with an ODP of zero that we are 
not proposing a change of status for new centrifugal chillers include 
HFO-1234ze(E), IKON A, IKON B, R-450A, R-513A, R-717, and THR-02. Also, 
the alternative refrigerant trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene 
has an ODP of 0.00024 to 0.00034.106 107 Estimates of this 
compound's potential to deplete the ozone layer indicate that even with 
worst-case estimates of emissions, which assume that this compound 
would substitute for all compounds it could replace, the impact on 
global atmospheric ozone abundance would be statistically 
insignificant.\108\ Thus, the acceptable alternatives not subject to 
the proposed status change have ODPs lower than or of the same 
practical effect to the ODPs of other alternatives for which EPA is 
proposing a change of status, and lower than the ODPs of ODS 
historically used in this end-use. The refrigerants we are proposing to 
find unacceptable through this action have GWPs ranging from about 920 
to 9,810. As shown in Table 6, other alternatives

[[Page 22843]]

acceptable for this end-use have GWPs ranging from zero to 630.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \106\ Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: 
Analyses of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' 
Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, 
IL. September 26, 2011.
    \107\ Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and 
Ozone Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trichloropropylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-
dimensional model.'' Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
    \108\ Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: 
Analyses of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' 
Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, 
IL. September 26, 2011.

               Table 6--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Refrigerants in New Centrifugal Chillers 1 2 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Refrigerants                  GWP             ODP               VOC                  Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ammonia, HCFC-123, HCFC-124, HFO-           0-630         0-0.022  No.................  No change.
 1234ze(E), R-450A, R-513A, trans-
 1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-
 ene.
IKON A, IKON B, THR-02...........          30-560               0  Yes \3\............  No change.
HFC-134a, HFC-245fa..............     1,030-1,430               0  No.................  Unacceptable.
FOR12A, FOR12B, THR-03...........       920-1,220               0  Yes \3\............  Unacceptable.
R-407C, R-410A, R-410B, R-421A, R-   1,770 -3,220               0  No.................  Unacceptable.
 423A, HFC-227ea.
R-125/134a/600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-    1,770 -3,250               0  Yes \3\............  Unacceptable.
 125/290/134a/600a (55/1/42.5/
 1.5), R-417A, R-422B, R-422C, R-
 422D, R-424A, R-434A, R-438A, RS-
 44 (2003 composition).
HFC-236fa, R-404A, R-507A........     3,920-9,810               0  No.................  Unacceptable.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-use.
\2\ HCFC-22, HCFC-123, HCFC-124, and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use
  is severely restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ One or more constituents of the refrigerant are VOC.

    One of the refrigerant blends not subject to the proposed status 
change (THR-02), as well as several of the substitutes subject to the 
proposed status change, include small amounts of R-290 (propane), R-600 
(butane) or other substances that are VOCs. These amounts are small and 
for this end-use are not expected to contribute significantly to ground 
level ozone formation.\109\ In the actions where EPA listed these 
refrigerants as acceptable, EPA concluded none of these refrigerants in 
this end-use pose significantly greater risk to ground-level ozone 
formation than other alternative refrigerants that are not VOCs or that 
are specifically excluded from the definition of VOC under CAA 
regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs 
to attain and maintain the NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \109\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The refrigerants not subject to the proposed status change are 
highly volatile and typically evaporate or partition to air, rather 
than contaminating surface waters. Their effects on aquatic life are 
expected to be small and pose no greater risk of aquatic or ecosystem 
effects than those of other refrigerants that are subject to the 
proposed status change for this end-use.
(b) Flammability
    For the centrifugal chillers end-use, with the exceptions of HFO-
1234ze(E) and R-717, all other refrigerants listed as acceptable, 
including those for which we are proposing to change the status to 
unacceptable, are not flammable. HFO-1234ze(E) is non-flammable at 
standard temperature and pressure using the standard test method ASTM 
E681; however, at higher temperatures it is mildly flammable. It is 
classified as a Class 2L (lower flammability, low burning velocity) 
refrigerant under the standard ASHRAE 34 (2013). Our assessment and 
listing decision (77 FR 47768; August 10, 2012) found that the overall 
risk, including the risk due to this mild flammability at elevated 
temperature, is not significantly greater than for other refrigerants 
or for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable.
    R-717 is slightly flammable with a low flame speed; it is 
classified as a 2L refrigerant under ASHRAE 34 (2013). R-717 has a long 
history of use in cold storage warehouses and other applications, but 
it is not believed to be used extensively in centrifugal chillers. In 
the original SNAP rule, EPA noted ``[a]mmonia has been used as a medium 
to low temperature refrigerant in vapor compression cycles for more 
than 100 years. Ammonia has excellent refrigerant properties, a 
characteristic pungent odor, no long-term atmospheric risks, and low 
cost. It is, however, slightly flammable and toxic, although it is not 
a cumulative poison. OSHA standards specify a 15 minute short-term 
exposure limit of 35 ppm for ammonia.'' (53 FR 13072; March 18, 1994). 
We further noted its use in various food and beverage processing and 
storage applications as well as other industrial applications. In that 
rule, we found R-717 acceptable for use in new centrifugal chillers, 
concluding that its overall risk to human health and the environment 
was not significantly greater than the other alternatives found 
acceptable. This conclusion was based on the assumption that the 
regulated community adheres to OSHA regulations on such use as well as 
standard refrigeration practices, such as the adherence to ASHRAE 
Standard 15, which is often utilized by local authorities when setting 
their own building and safety requirements.
    For further information, including EPA's risk screens and risk 
assessments as well as information from the submitters of the 
substitutes, see docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663.
(c) Toxicity
    The toxicity of the refrigerants we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable is comparable to that of other alternatives that are 
acceptable in this end-use, with the exception of R-717. R-717, for 
which we are not proposing a change of status, is of a higher toxicity 
than some other refrigerants and is classified as a B refrigerant under 
ASHRAE 34 (2013). See section VI.A.4.a.iii.(b) for a discussion on the 
long history of use of R-717 and our original decision finding it 
acceptable in new centrifugal chillers. The other acceptable 
alternatives listed above that are included in ASHRAE 34 (2013) are 
classified as A (lower toxicity) refrigerants.
    For all refrigerants, the relatively large charge sizes employed in 
centrifugal chillers, and the fact that some such chillers are placed 
in an enclosed mechanical room, raise a concern regarding oxygen 
displacement. This concern has been addressed over the long history of 
the use of centrifugal chillers, including the use of HCFC-123, another 
B refrigerant as classified by ASHRAE 34 (2013), by providing adequate 
ventilation, reducing leaks to small levels, and other techniques such 
as employing refrigerant sensors and automatic air movement. Commonly 
followed standards and practices have reduced toxicity concerns equally 
for historically used ODS, the alternatives for which we are proposing 
a status

[[Page 22844]]

change, and the alternatives for which we are not proposing a status 
change.
(d) Summary
    EPA has listed as acceptable several alternatives that pose lower 
overall risk to human health and the environment than the refrigerants 
whose status we are proposing to change to unacceptable. The risks 
other than GWP are not significantly different for the alternatives 
than for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable, and 
the GWPs for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable 
are significantly higher and thus pose significantly greater risk.
iv. What narrowed use limits for military marine vessels and human-
rated spacecraft and related support equipment is EPA proposing?
    EPA is proposing a narrowed use limit that would allow continued 
use of HFC-134a in centrifugal compressor chillers for military marine 
vessels after the change of status date where reasonable efforts have 
been made to ascertain that other alternatives are not technically 
feasible due to performance or safety requirements. Under the narrowed 
use limit, the end user for this military application would need to 
ascertain that other alternatives are not technically feasible and 
document the results of their analysis. See 40 CFR 82.180(b)(3). For 
the military, there are several unique performance requirements related 
to marine vessel air conditioning systems that require extensive 
testing prior to qualifying alternatives for HFC-134a. The lower-GWP 
alternatives available or potentially available for use in commercial 
chillers either do not meet the military-unique requirements or will 
require longer testing, based on available program funding for testing, 
for military suitability. It will also then take additional time to 
redesign, qualify, and procure new chillers for military shipbuilding 
programs.
    We anticipate that most centrifugal compressor chillers in military 
applications will be able to transition to acceptable alternatives by 
the proposed January 1, 2024 date. However, HFC-134a chillers are 
mission-critical equipment on ships and submarines, primarily in 
cooling of electronics, sensors, and weapon systems, but also cooling 
of ship spaces for personnel. Failure of the chillers would disable the 
ship. The equipment is not the same as commercial equipment and it is 
located in confined engineering spaces near other critical equipment, 
including conventional and nuclear propulsion plants. All major 
components are designed, tested and certified for military use 
(including the compressor, motor, evaporator, condenser, and electronic 
controls) and must meet military-unique requirements: Weapons effect 
shock resistance, stringent electromagnetic interference resistance, 
ship vibration resistance, all weather pitch and roll operation, low 
acoustic signature, arctic to tropical operations (at temperatures from 
28[emsp14][deg]F to 105[emsp14][deg]F), compact to fit in confined 
warship spaces, 40 to 50 year service life, and very high reliability 
due to extended at-sea missions. Further challenges include 
installation on submarines with the inherent risk of refrigerant 
leakage and need for the refrigerant to be compatible with the 
submarine life support systems. Production for these equipment for 
naval ships and submarines is low volume with only one certified 
manufacturer, limited test facilities, and prototype hardware and 
designs shared among platforms for affordability and commonality. 
Another significant challenge lies in the fact that the testing program 
for the use of alternatives for ships has not yet been funded. Once 
funding is in place, the completion timeline to fund, test, qualify, 
and begin procurement on all Navy-unique surface ship chiller designs 
is estimated to be about ten years. Due to the unique challenges 
associated with submarines, including potential refrigerant 
incompatibility with life support systems, it may not be feasible to 
implement currently available alternatives being evaluated for surface 
ships. Given the limited population of submarine chillers, the 
resulting greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerant leakage in this 
application is not expected to be significant.
    EPA is proposing a narrowed use limit that would allow continued 
use of HFC-134a and R-404A in centrifugal compressor chillers for 
human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment applications after 
the change of status date where reasonable efforts have been made to 
ascertain that other alternatives are not technically feasible due to 
performance or safety requirements. Under the narrowed use limit, the 
end user for this human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment 
application would need to ascertain that other alternatives are not 
technically feasible and document the results of their analysis. See 40 
CFR 82.180(b)(3). HFC-134a and R-404A chillers are used to provide 
cooling to human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment during 
ground-based assembly, integration and test operations, and launch. The 
cooling of sensitive human-rated electrical equipment is critical to 
the spacecraft technical performance and crew safety. EPA understands 
that such programs use specialized ground coolant systems to provide 
heat transfer during certain ground operations. These coolant 
circulation systems use HFC-134a and R-404A chillers to meet the 
program's stringent performance and material compatibility 
requirements. Other alternatives currently listed as acceptable under 
the SNAP program have not yet been proven to provide appropriate heat 
transfer, material compatibility, stability in the test environment, 
and other critical properties necessary for use in human-rated 
spacecraft and related support equipment applications. Considering that 
identification, testing, and implementation of materials to be used in 
human-rated-spacecraft programs routinely take several years due to the 
challenging operational environment, lengthy qualification process 
associated with human rating, and the federal budgetary cycle, it may 
not be feasible to deploy centrifugal chillers using other alternatives 
in the proposed timeframe. Given the limited population of chillers 
used in human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment 
applications, the resulting greenhouse gas emissions from refrigerant 
leakage in this application is not expected to be significant.
    Users of a restricted agent within the narrowed use limits category 
must make a reasonable effort to ascertain that other substitutes or 
alternatives are not technically feasible. Users are expected to 
undertake a thorough technical investigation of alternatives to the 
otherwise restricted substitute. Although users are not required to 
report the results of their investigations to EPA, users must document 
these results, and retain them in their files for the purpose of 
demonstrating compliance. This information includes descriptions of:
     Process or product in which the substitute is needed;
     Substitutes examined and rejected;
     Reason for rejection of other alternatives, e.g., 
performance, technical or safety standards; and/or
     Anticipated date other substitutes will be available and 
projected time for switching.
v. When would the status change?
    The Agency understands that relevant building standards and codes 
are likely to change in 2021. These include ASHRAE 15, UL 1995, UL 
60335-2-40, and the International Building Code. The Agency believes 
some amount of

[[Page 22845]]

time will be needed to meet the technical challenges for a safe and 
smooth transition to alternatives particularly considering the 
complexity of chiller designs and the need to ensure energy efficiency 
levels are met. EPA is considering a range of dates from January 1, 
2022, through January 1, 2025, as the change of status date for new 
centrifugal chillers. Our lead proposal is a status change date of 
January 1, 2024, which we believe would allow development of designs of 
new centrifugal chillers using an acceptable alternative. We are aware 
that some equipment has been introduced with acceptable alternatives 
and that additional research and development is underway with these and 
other possible alternatives.
    In addition, EPA has received communication from representatives of 
AHRI and NRDC requesting a change of status date of January 1, 2025, 
for HFC-134a, R-407C and R-410A, in all types of chillers.\110\ We are 
encouraged that the major trade organization representing manufacturers 
of chillers worked with the environmental non-governmental group to 
develop this consensus agreement that all chillers could transition to 
lower-GWP alternatives by or before this date and that during this time 
period more and more models of such equipment would be released from 
individual manufacturers. While the letter did not provide detailed 
technical analysis or timelines of why this date but not an earlier 
date was offered, it did indicate that their recommendation ``allows 
eight years from the publication of the final rule for industry to 
finish designing and bringing to market chillers using alternative 
refrigerants.'' The authors pointed out that ``this conversion [in all 
types of chillers] is anticipated to involve use of new 2L flammable 
refrigerants, which are severely restricted by current safety and 
building codes'' and added that a 2025 date ``provides time to amend 
model building codes to accommodate these new refrigerants and for 
adoption by state and local jurisdictions.'' AHRI and NRDC held that a 
January 1, 2025 change of status date ``provides adequate time for 
industry to launch products that have been tested and certified by the 
existing laboratories and certification agencies . . . globally'' and 
emphasized that time was required to complete revisions to ASHRAE 
Standard 15, recertify the chillers with safety standards, and qualify 
materials and components to ensure low-leak, high-reliability products. 
They also said their recommended schedule provides time for 
manufacturers to optimize the energy efficiency of their products.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \110\ Doniger, David (NRDC) and Stephen Yurek (AHRI), February 
1, 2016. AHRI/NRDC Letter Regarding Chiller Actions Under SNAP.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

vi. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    DOE has established efficiency requirements, based on ANSI/ASHRAE/
IES Standard 90.1-2010, for chillers used in federal buildings.\111\ 
EPA is not aware of any DOE energy efficiency requirements for chillers 
used in non-federal buildings. Although EPA is not aware of any federal 
standards that apply, EPA recognizes, however, that state and local 
building codes may place certain requirements that affect the desired 
efficiency of chillers. Many state and local codes reference ASHRAE 
Standard 90.1. EPA's understanding of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is that it 
provides both a prescriptive and performance-based measures to achieve 
compliance. Under the prescriptive approach, depending on the version 
of the standard, one or two ``paths'' exist setting specific energy 
efficiency requirements based on the type and capacity of the chiller. 
Under a performance-based approach, the energy consumption of the 
chiller may exceed the prescriptive requirements provided that the 
building as a whole meets or exceeds the applicable reference building.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \111\ DOE, 2014. Building Energy Codes Program. Energy 
Efficiency Standards for Federal Buildings. Available at: https://www.energycodes.gov/regulations/federal-building-standards. Last 
updated February 13, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

vii. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on a range of dates from January 1, 
2022, through January 1, 2025, for the change of status of the 
identified substitutes. EPA requests comment and information on any 
potential environmental or other impacts of EPA adopting a date other 
than January 1, 2024, which is our lead option. In particular, EPA 
requests comment on whether other alternatives that reduce overall risk 
would be available prior to January 1, 2024 and for comment on any 
technical or other reasons that NRDC and AHRI proposed January 1, 2025 
in their joint letter. EPA requests comment on the specific steps that 
must be undertaken to commercialize centrifugal chillers with 
alternative refrigerants, including the time each such step would take, 
which steps must occur in sequence, and which steps could occur in 
parallel. EPA requests comments on if and how this timing might vary 
based on the characteristics of the chiller, such as but not limited 
to, compressor type, capacity range, evaporator design, condenser 
design (e.g., air cooled or water cooled), and refrigerant currently 
used and potentially used.
    EPA requests comment on the current use of four refrigerants not 
subject to the proposed change of status, trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trifluoroprop-1-ene, HFO-1234ze(E), R-450A and R-513A, in centrifugal 
chillers, including the status of product availability and the capacity 
range covered by such products. We also request comment on the on-going 
research, development, deployment and expected increased market 
penetration of centrifugal chillers using refrigerants such as trans-1-
chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, HFO-1234ze(E), R-290, R-450A, R-513A, 
DR-55,\112\ R-718 and R-744.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \112\ DR-55 is a temporary name identifying a specific HFC/HFO 
blend.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, EPA requests comment on any energy efficiency 
performance impacts of using the refrigerants not subject to the change 
of status proposed today that could affect the ability of manufacturers 
to meet current energy efficiency requirements or standards for 
centrifugal chillers in the United States. Also, EPA requests comment 
on the ability of centrifugal chillers using refrigerants other than 
those for which we are proposing a status change to meet those energy 
efficiency requirements or standards. In particular, we request comment 
on the specific steps and timing of such steps required to design and 
develop centrifugal chillers to meet applicable federal energy 
efficiency requirements.
    EPA is also requesting comment on the proposed narrowed use 
limitation for chillers on military marine vessels and human-rated 
spacecraft and related support equipment where the unique requirements 
would limit the availability and feasible use of alternatives not 
subject to the proposed status change.
b. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for New 
Positive Displacement Chillers
    As provided in the following table, EPA is proposing to change the 
status of numerous refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable for new 
positive displacement chillers:

[[Page 22846]]



      Table 7--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for New Positive
                          Displacement Chillers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                 Substitutes        Proposed decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Positive Displacement         FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-  Unacceptable as of
 Chillers (new only).          134a, HFC-227ea,      January 1, 2024
                               KDD6, R-125/134a/     except where
                               600a (28.1/70/1.9),   allowed under a
                               R-125/290/134a/600a   narrowed use limit.
                               (55.0/1.0/42.5/
                               1.5), R-404A, R-
                               407C, R-410A, R-
                               410B, R-417A, R-
                               421A, R-422B, R-
                               422C, R-422D, R-
                               424A, R-434A, R-
                               437A, R-438A, R-
                               507A, RS-44 (2003
                               composition),
                               SP34E, and THR-03.
Positive Displacement         HFC-134a............  Acceptable, subject
 Chillers (new only).                                to narrowed use
                                                     limits, for
                                                     military marine
                                                     vessels, as of
                                                     January 1, 2024.
Positive Displacement         HFC-134a and R-404A.  Acceptable, subject
 Chillers (new only).                                to narrowed use
                                                     limits, for human-
                                                     rated spacecraft
                                                     and related support
                                                     equipment, as of
                                                     January 1, 2024.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. What is the affected end-use?
(a) Overview of Equipment Covered
    As discussed in section VI.A.4.a.i, vapor compression cycle 
chillers are divided into centrifugal chillers and positive 
displacement chillers. This section deals with positive displacement 
chillers, which are those that utilize positive displacement 
compressors such as reciprocating, screw, scroll or rotary types. 
Positive displacement chillers are applied in similar situations as 
centrifugal chillers, again primarily for commercial comfort AC, except 
that positive displacement chillers tend to be used for smaller 
capacity needs such as in mid- and low-rise buildings.
    For commercial comfort and some other applications, positive 
displacement chillers typically cool water that is then pumped to fan 
coil units or other air handlers to cool the air that is supplied to 
the occupied spaces transferring the heat to the water. The heat 
absorbed by the water can then be used for heating purposes, and/or can 
be transferred directly to the air (``air-cooled''), to a cooling tower 
or body of water (``water-cooled'') or through evaporative coolers 
(``evaporative-cooled'').
    Positive displacement chillers are used for other applications 
besides commercial comfort AC and are covered under this section of the 
proposed rule. For instance, positive displacement chillers used to 
cool equipment, such as in data centers, are covered under this section 
of the proposed rule.
(b) What other types of equipment are used for similar applications but 
are not covered by this section of the proposed rule?
    Other equipment including packaged rooftop units and split system 
air conditioners, both of which fall under the SNAP end-use ``household 
and light commercial air conditioning,'' can also be used for 
commercial comfort AC, typically for even smaller capacity needs than 
positive displacement chillers. These equipment types are not positive 
displacement chillers and hence are not covered under this section of 
the proposed rule.
(c) What refrigerants are used in positive displacement chillers?
    Positive displacement chillers historically used CFC-12, although 
HCFC-22 was also used and became more common after the production and 
consumption of CFC-12 were phased out. In accordance with CAA 605(a) 
and the implementing regulations codified at 40 CFR part 82, subpart A, 
in the United States, the use of newly manufactured HCFC-22 for new 
positive displacement chillers (and other new equipment) ceased as of 
January 1, 2010. Both R-407C and to a larger extent R-410A are used in 
new positive displacement chillers primarily in lower capacity ranges 
previously served by HCFC-22 chillers. HFC-134a is also used for new 
positive-displacement chillers, including some mid-level capacity 
water-cooled screw chillers.
    More recently, positive displacement chillers that use alternatives 
listed as acceptable including HFO-1234ze(E) and R-513A (a blend of 
HFC-134a and HFO-1234yf) have been demonstrated or announced. EPA is 
aware of air-cooled rotary chillers in the 115 to 500 refrigeration ton 
(400 to 1,750 kW) range using R-513A.\113\ Other chiller models using 
low-GWP refrigerants have also been introduced; for instance an air-
cooled chiller using DR-55 at the IIR International Conference of 
Refrigeration.\114\ EPA also notes that a water-cooled screw chiller 
using HFO-1234ze \115\ has been installed in Europe.\116\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \113\ Trane, 2015. Trane[supreg] SintesisTM Air-cooled Chillers. 
This document is accessible at: http://www.trane.com/content/dam/Trane/Commercial/global/products-systems/equipment/chillers/air-cooled/TRANE_Sintesis_Brochure.pdf.
    \114\ Trane Exhibits First Air-cooled Chiller with Climate-
friendly Refrigerant DR-55, September 21, 2015. Available at: 
www.ejarn.com/news.aspx?ID=36282.
    \115\ EPA assumes the refrigerant used is the stereoisomer HFO-
1234ze(E) but requests comment on this assumption.
    \116\ First Carrier AquaForce Chillers using HFO-1234ze, August 
2, 2015. www.ejarn.com/news.aspx?ID=35619.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    For new positive displacement chillers, EPA is proposing to change 
the status of the following refrigerants from acceptable to 
unacceptable: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/134a/
600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-
407C, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, 
R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition), SP34E, and 
THR-03.
iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to other 
refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    For new positive displacement chillers, acceptable refrigerants for 
which we are not proposing a change of status in this end-use include: 
HFO-1234ze(E), IKON B, R-450A, R-513A, R-717, and THR-02.
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \117\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria

[[Page 22847]]

(e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for acceptable 
alternatives for new positive displacement chillers may be found in the 
docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \117\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    The refrigerants for which we are proposing to change the status to 
unacceptable have zero ODP and GWPs ranging from about 920 to 3,990. As 
shown in Table 8, other alternatives for which we are not proposing a 
change of status in this end-use have GWPs ranging from zero to 630.

          Table 8--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Refrigerants in New Positive Displacement Chillers 1 2 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Refrigerants                  GWP             ODP               VOC                  Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ammonia, HFO-1234ze(E), R-450A, R-          0-630               0  No.................  No change.
 513A.
IKON B, THR-02...................          30-560               0  Yes 3..............  No change.
HFC-134a.........................           1,430               0  No.................  Unacceptable.
FOR12A, FOR12B, SP34E, THR-03....       920-1,410               0  Yes 3..............  Unacceptable.
HFC-227ea, R-407C, R-410A, R-         1,770-3,220               0  No.................  Unacceptable.
 410B, R-421A.
KDD6, R-125/134a/600a (28.1/70/       1,810-3,250               0  Yes 3..............  Unacceptable.
 1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55/1/
 42.5/1.5), R-417A, R-422B, R-
 422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-434A, R-
 437A, R-438A, RS-44 (2003
 composition).
R-404A, R-507A...................     3,920-3,990               0  No.................  Unacceptable.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-uses.
2 HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely restricted
  by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
3 One or more constituents of the refrigerant are VOC.

    One of the refrigerant blends not subject to the proposed status 
change (THR-02), as well as several of the substitutes subject to the 
proposed status change, include small amounts of R-290 (propane), R-600 
(butane), or other substances that are VOCs. These amounts are small 
and for this end-use are not expected to contribute significantly to 
ground level ozone formation.\118\ In the actions where EPA listed 
these refrigerants as acceptable, EPA concluded none of these 
refrigerants in this end-use pose significantly greater risk to ground-
level ozone formation than other alternative refrigerants that are not 
VOCs or that are specifically excluded from the definition of VOC under 
CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of 
SIPs to attain and maintain the NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \118\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The refrigerants not subject to the proposed status change are 
highly volatile and typically evaporate or partition to air, rather 
than contaminating surface waters. Their effects on aquatic life are 
expected to be small and pose no greater risk of aquatic or ecosystem 
effects than those of other refrigerants that are subject to the 
proposed status change for this end-use.
(b) Flammability
    For the positive displacement chillers end-use, with the exception 
of HFO-1234ze(E) and R-717, all other refrigerants listed as 
acceptable, including those for which we are proposing to change the 
status to unacceptable, are not flammable. HFO-1234ze(E) is non-
flammable at standard temperature and pressure using the standard test 
method ASTM E681; however, at higher temperatures it is mildly 
flammable. It is classified as a Class 2L (lower flammability, low 
burning velocity) refrigerant under the standard ASHRAE 34 (2013). Our 
assessment and listing decision (77 FR 47768; August 10, 2012) found 
that the overall risk, including the risk due to this mild flammability 
at elevated temperature, is not significantly greater than for other 
refrigerants or for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable. As noted above, a positive displacement chiller using 
this refrigerant has already been installed.
    R-717 is slightly flammable with a low flame speed; it is 
classified as a 2L refrigerant under ASHRAE 34 (2013). R-717 has a long 
history of use as a refrigerant in positive displacement chillers, 
especially in water-cooled screw chillers, and other applications. In 
our evaluation finding R-717 acceptable in this end-use, EPA noted 
``Ammonia has been used as a medium to low temperature refrigerant in 
vapor compression cycles for more than 100 years. Ammonia has excellent 
refrigerant properties, a characteristic pungent odor, no long-term 
atmospheric risks, and low cost. It is, however, slightly flammable and 
toxic, although it is not a cumulative poison. Ammonia may be used 
safely if existing OSHA and ASHRAE standards are followed'' (61 FR 
47015).
(c) Toxicity
    With the exception of R-717, the toxicity of the refrigerants we 
are proposing to list as unacceptable is comparable to that of other 
alternatives that are acceptable in this end-use. R-717, for which we 
are not proposing a change of status, is of a higher toxicity than some 
other refrigerants and is classified as a B refrigerant under ASHRAE 34 
(2013). See section VI.A.4.b.iii.(b) for a discussion on the long 
history of use of R-717 and our original decision finding it acceptable 
in new positive displacement chillers.
    For all refrigerants, the possible relatively large charge sizes of 
some positive displacement chillers, and the fact that some such 
chillers are place in an enclosed mechanical room, raise a concern 
regarding oxygen displacement. This concern has been addressed over the 
long history of the use of positive displacement chillers by providing 
adequate ventilation, reducing leaks to small levels, and other 
techniques such as employing refrigerant sensors and automatic air 
movement. Commonly followed standards and practices have reduced 
toxicity concerns equally for historically used ODS, the alternatives 
subject to the proposed status change, and the alternatives not subject 
to the proposed status change.
(d) Summary
    EPA has listed as acceptable several alternatives that pose lower 
overall risk to human health and the environment than the refrigerants 
whose status we are proposing to change to unacceptable. The risks 
other than GWP are not significantly different for the

[[Page 22848]]

alternatives than for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable, and the GWPs for the refrigerants we are proposing to 
list as unacceptable are significantly higher and thus pose 
significantly greater risk.
iv. What narrowed use limits for military marine vessels and human-
rated spacecraft and related support equipment is EPA proposing?
    EPA is proposing a narrowed use limit that would allow continued 
use of HFC-134a in positive displacement compressor chillers for 
military marine vessels after the change of status date where 
reasonable efforts have been made to ascertain that other alternatives 
are not technically feasible due to performance or safety requirements. 
Under the narrowed use limit, the end user for this military 
application would need to ascertain that other alternatives are not 
technically feasible and document the results of their analysis. See 40 
CFR 82.180(b)(3). For the military, there are several unique 
performance requirements related to marine vessel air conditioning 
systems that require extensive testing prior to qualifying alternatives 
for HFC-134a. The lower-GWP alternatives available or potentially 
available for use in commercial chillers either do not meet the 
military-unique requirements or will require longer timeframes to test, 
based on available program funding for testing, for military 
suitability. It will also then take additional time to redesign, 
qualify, and procure new chillers for military shipbuilding programs. 
See additional information in section VI.A.4.a.iv above on centrifugal 
chillers.
    EPA is proposing a narrowed use limit that would allow continued 
use of HFC-134a and R-404A in positive displacement compressor chillers 
for human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment applications 
after the change of status date where reasonable efforts have been made 
to ascertain that other alternatives are not technically feasible due 
to performance or safety requirements. Under the narrowed use limit, 
the end user for this human-rated spacecraft and related support 
equipment application would need to ascertain that other alternatives 
are not technically feasible and document the results of their 
analysis. See 40 CFR 82.180(b)(3). HFC-134a and R-404A chillers are 
used to provide cooling to human-rated spacecraft and related support 
equipment during ground-based assembly, integration and test 
operations, and launch. The cooling of sensitive human-rated electrical 
equipment is critical to the spacecraft technical performance and crew 
safety. EPA understands that such programs use specialized ground 
coolant systems to provide heat transfer during certain ground 
operations. These coolant circulation systems use HFC-134a and R-404A 
chillers to meet the program's stringent performance and material 
compatibility requirements. Other alternatives currently listed as 
acceptable under the SNAP program have not yet been proven to provide 
appropriate heat transfer, material compatibility, stability in the 
test environment, and other critical properties necessary for use in 
human-rated spacecraft and related support equipment applications. 
Considering that identification, testing, and implementation of 
materials to be used in human-rated spacecraft programs routinely take 
several years due to the challenging operational environment, lengthy 
qualification process associated with human rating, and the federal 
budgetary cycle, it may not be feasible to deploy positive displacement 
chillers using other alternatives in the proposed timeframe. Given the 
limited population of chillers used in human-rated spacecraft and 
related support equipment applications, the resulting greenhouse gas 
emissions from refrigerant leakage in this application is not expected 
to be significant.
    Users of a restricted agent within the narrowed use limits category 
must make a reasonable effort to ascertain that other substitutes or 
alternatives are not technically feasible. Users are expected to 
undertake a thorough technical investigation of alternatives to the 
otherwise restricted substitute. Although users are not required to 
report the results of their investigations to EPA, users must document 
these results, and retain them in their files for the purpose of 
demonstrating compliance. This information includes descriptions of:
     Process or product in which the substitute is needed;
     Substitutes examined and rejected;
     Reason for rejection of other alternatives, e.g., 
performance, technical or safety standards; and/or
     Anticipated date other substitutes will be available and 
projected time for switching.
v. When would the status change?
    The Agency understands that relevant building standards and codes 
are likely to change in 2021. These include ASHRAE 15, UL 1995, UL 
60335-2-40, and the International Building Code. The Agency believes 
some amount of time will be needed to meet the technical challenges for 
a safe and smooth transition to alternatives particularly considering 
the complexity of chiller designs and the need to ensure energy 
efficiency levels are met. EPA is considering a range of dates from 
January 1, 2022, through January 1, 2025, as the change of status date 
for new positive displacement chillers. Our lead proposal is a status 
change date of January 1, 2024, which we believe would allow 
development of designs of new positive displacement chillers using an 
acceptable alternative. We are aware that some equipment has been 
introduced with acceptable alternatives and that additional research 
and development is underway with these and other possible alternatives.
    In addition, EPA has received communication from representatives of 
AHRI and NRDC requesting a change of status date of January 1, 2025, 
for HFC-134a, R-407C and R-410A, in all types of chillers. See section 
VI.A.4.a.v.
vi. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    DOE has established efficiency requirements, based on ANSI/ASHRAE/
IES Standard 90.1-2010, for chillers used in federal buildings.\119\ 
See section VI.A.4.a.vi for more information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \119\ DOE, 2014. Building Energy Codes Program. Energy 
Efficiency Standards for Federal Buildings. Available at: https://www.energycodes.gov/regulations/federal-building-standards. Last 
updated February 13, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

vii. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on a range of dates from January 1, 
2022, through January 1, 2025, for the change of status of the 
identified substitutes. EPA requests comment and information on any 
potential environmental or other impacts of EPA adopting a date other 
than January 1, 2024, which is our lead option. In particular, EPA 
requests comment on whether other alternatives that reduce overall risk 
would be available prior to January 1, 2024 and for comment on any 
technical or other reasons that NRDC and AHRI proposed January 1, 2025 
in their joint letter. EPA requests comment on the specific steps that 
must be undertaken to commercialize positive displacement chillers with 
alternative refrigerants, including the time each such step would take, 
which steps must occur in sequence, and which steps could occur in 
parallel. EPA requests comments on if and how this timing might vary 
based on the characteristics of the chiller, such as but not limited 
to, compressor type,

[[Page 22849]]

capacity range, evaporator design, condenser design (e.g., air cooled 
or water cooled), and refrigerant currently used and potentially used. 
EPA requests comment on the current use of three refrigerants, HFO-
1234ze(E), R-450A and R-513A, in positive displacement chillers, 
including the status of product availability and the capacity range 
covered by such products. We also request comment on the on-going 
research, development, deployment and expected increased market 
penetration of positive displacement chillers using refrigerants such 
as HFO-1234ze(E), R-290, R-450A, R-513A, DR-55, R-718 and R-744.
    Additionally, EPA requests comment on any energy efficiency 
performance impacts of using the refrigerants not subject to the change 
of status proposed today that could affect the ability of manufacturers 
to meet current energy efficiency requirements or standards for 
positive displacement chillers in the United States. Also, EPA requests 
comment on the ability of positive displacement chillers using 
refrigerants other than those for which we are proposing a status 
change to meet those energy efficiency requirements or standards. In 
particular, we request comment on the specific steps and timing of such 
steps required to design and develop positive displacement chillers to 
meet federal energy efficiency requirements.
    EPA is also requesting comment on the proposed narrowed use 
limitation for chillers on military marine vessels and human-rated 
spacecraft and related support equipment where the unique requirements 
would limit the availability and feasible use of alternatives not 
subject to the proposed status change.
c. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for New Cold 
Storage Warehouses
    As provided in the following table, EPA is proposing to change the 
status of numerous refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable for new 
cold storage warehouses.

Table 9--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for Cold Storage Warehouses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Proposed
            End-use                   Substitutes           decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cold Storage Warehouses (new).  HFC-227ea, R-125/290/   Unacceptable as
                                 134a/600a (55.0/1.0/    of January 1,
                                 42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-   2023.
                                 407A, R-407B, R-410A,
                                 R-410B, R-417A, R-
                                 421A, R-421B, R-422A,
                                 R-422B, R-422C, R-
                                 422D, R-423A, R-424A,
                                 R-428A, R-434A, R-
                                 438A, R-507A, and RS-
                                 44 (2003 composition).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. What is the affected end-use?
    Cold storage warehouses are temperature-controlled facilities used 
to store meat, produce, dairy and other products that are delivered to 
other locations for sale to the ultimate consumer. This end-use within 
the SNAP program describes an application of refrigeration equipment 
for an intended purpose, and hence the listings of acceptable and 
unacceptable refrigerants for this end-use apply regardless of the type 
of refrigeration system used. In addition to traditional vapor-
compression cycle systems, EPA has found several not-in-kind systems 
acceptable for this end-use, including ammonia absorption, evaporative 
cooling, desiccant cooling, and Stirling cycle systems, which are not 
subject to the proposed status change.
    Cold storage warehouses are usually deemed ``private'' or 
``public,'' describing the relationship between the owner or operator 
of the cold storage warehouse and the owner of the products stored 
within. Private cold storage warehouses are ones owned by a company for 
the purpose of storing its products; for instance, a food producer, 
processor or shipper may own and operate a facility as a distribution 
point for its products. Likewise, a supermarket chain may own and 
operate a facility to control the distribution of a variety of products 
to multiple stores in a given region. A public cold storage warehouse 
provides storage for lease and hence may receive and hold products from 
multiple producers and for multiple supermarkets or other vendors. Some 
cold storage warehouses may be both public and private, with one part 
dedicated to the owner's products and another part available for lease. 
All such types of cold storage warehouses are included within the SNAP 
end-use.
    Cold storage warehouses are also often divided into two general 
uses: Those storing products at temperatures above 32 [deg]F (0 [deg]C) 
and those storing products below this temperature. The former is 
referred to as a ``cooler'' while the term ``freezer'' is used for the 
latter. The 2014 ASHRAE Handbook of Refrigeration provides an 
additional cooler application called ``controlled atmosphere for long-
term fruit and vegetable storage'' and three subdivisions of freezers: 
``high-temperature freezers'' storing goods at 27 to 28 [deg]F (-2.8 to 
-2.2 [deg]C), ``low-temperature storage rooms for general frozen 
products, usually maintained at -5 to -20 [deg]F'' (-21 to -29 [deg]C), 
and low-temperature storage at the same temperature range as before but 
``with a surplus of refrigeration for freezing products received at 
above 0 [deg]F'' (-18 [deg]C).
    Several other end-uses under the SNAP program cover other parts of 
the food (and product) cold chain, and are distinct from the cold 
storage warehouse end-use. These are discussed here as examples of what 
EPA considers to be part of or separate from the ``cold storage 
warehouse'' end-use for which we are proposing changes of status.
    Many food products require refrigeration during the production 
process. The application of refrigerating equipment used during the 
production of food and beverages falls within the SNAP end-use 
``industrial process refrigeration.'' The industrial process 
refrigeration end-use would include all equipment and operations (that 
use a refrigerant) used to make and prepare food that is not 
immediately available for sale to the ultimate consumer and would 
require shipping it, possibly through intermediate points, to the point 
where such sale would occur. The industrial process refrigeration end-
use could be applied at facilities where food is processed and packaged 
by the food producer. An example could be a meat processor that 
prepares and packages individual cuts of meat within a single facility 
or building while maintaining the required temperatures within that 
facility or building. Although such facilities may be designed in a 
fashion similar to a cold storage warehouse, the fact that items are 
being processed by the food producer indicates that the application 
falls in the industrial process refrigeration end-use. However, if a 
food producer operates a refrigerated storage area solely for the 
holding of already packaged products, and possibly packing such 
products in larger containers or bundles for shipment, that application 
would fall under the cold-storage warehouse end-use. In the

[[Page 22850]]

example above, such a cold storage warehouse might be a facility, 
separate from the industrial process refrigeration system in a 
different facility, where the individually-packaged cuts of meat are 
packed in a larger container that is placed on a pallet and then 
shipped.
    Another example of an industrial process refrigeration system is a 
``blast cooler'' or ``blast freezer.'' As described previously in a 
separate SNAP rulemaking ``[a] `blast chiller' or `blast freezer' is a 
type of equipment in which cold air is supplied and circulated rapidly 
to a food product, generally to quickly cool or freeze a product before 
damage or spoilage can occur.'' (80 FR 42901; July 20, 2015). Such 
devices might be used as part of a food production line in an 
industrial setting. They also can be placed separately at public 
facilities including hospitals, schools, restaurants and supermarkets. 
These public facilities might use the blast chiller on products that 
they will store for later use after they receive products from a vendor 
or that they cook or prepare as part of their operations. Such units 
might also be placed near entranceways to cold storage warehouses, for 
instance to receive food shipped refrigerated at one temperature and 
bring it down to a lower temperature for storage. EPA does not consider 
a separate blast chiller or blast freezer (i.e., one with its own 
refrigerant-containing circuit, including the compressor, evaporator 
and the condenser or heat exchanger) to be part of a cold storage 
warehouse. Another design, however, could consist of a refrigeration 
system that is used to provide refrigerant (or a secondary fluid in an 
indirect system) to the evaporators extracting heat from the cold 
storage warehouse as well as to the evaporators used by a blast chiller 
or blast freezer that is installed at the facility. In this situation, 
EPA expects that the majority of the load and intended use of the 
combination system is for the cold storage of products, including those 
that undergo the blast cooling or freezing, and hence we consider the 
system to be a cold storage warehouse. For such systems, certain 
refrigerants would be subject to the proposed change of status as 
explained below.
    As discussed in section VI.A.4.d, because products from 
refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment are generally 
available for sale to the ultimate consumer, that end-use category, 
part of the retail food refrigeration end-use, is distinct from 
industrial process refrigeration.
    Another application in the food cold chain is the use of a ``cold 
room'' at a retail facility where refrigerated food is kept generally 
for short periods of time. In the July 20, 2015, final rule (80 FR 
42870), EPA changed the status of certain refrigerants used in ``remote 
condensing units'' and ``stand-alone systems,'' two categories within 
the ``retail food refrigeration'' end-use that include equipment that 
can be used for such cold rooms. Remote condensing units may include a 
dedicated one- or two-compressor system with condensers located on a 
roof or the side of a building providing cooling through unit coolers 
to an insulated room, for instance in a restaurant or supermarket, that 
are built and charged with refrigerant at the site. Also, some cold 
rooms are stand-alone systems that are pre-charged at the factory and 
ready to use once placed at the retailer's facility and provided with 
electrical and possibly plumbing connections, and are accessed via a 
door to store refrigerated products. In general, both types of 
applications are often called ``walk-in coolers'' or ``walk-in 
freezers,'' depending on the design temperature.
    Such cold rooms are used to store products at required temperatures 
until sale to the ultimate consumer, such as a shopper in a supermarket 
or a diner in a restaurant. In some cases, one side of the room is 
fitted with glass doors and racks where the owner stacks products on 
the racks and the consumer obtains the product from the rack. In other 
cases, the cold room is only accessible by employees of the retail food 
establishment. For these applications, even if this equipment is not 
accessible to the public--for instance, it is in the back of a 
supermarket and holds products that are later brought to display cases 
from which customers obtain the products; or in the back of a 
restaurant where a cook takes and prepares the food that is brought to 
the diner by a waiter--it is considered part of the retail 
establishment and hence is part of the ``retail food refrigeration'' 
end-use and is not included in the ``cold storage warehouse'' end-use. 
The changes of status proposed in this action would not apply to such 
``cold rooms,'' ``walk-in coolers,'' or ``walk-in freezers;'' however, 
EPA refers the reader to a previous rulemaking that does apply (80 FR 
42870; July 20, 2015).
    R-717 is believed to be the most common refrigerant used in cold 
storage warehouses. While R-717 is not used extensively in many other 
types of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, certain 
characteristics of cold storage warehouses have facilitated the 
widespread use of that refrigerant in this end-use. For example, 
because cold storage warehouses are often large in size for economies 
of scale reason and require a large amount of land use--as opposed to 
other systems that might be located on a building roof or a small slab 
next to the building--they are typically located away from population 
centers where land costs and taxes may be higher. Also, because they 
often service multiple retail locations and may receive goods from 
multiple producers, cold storage warehouses are often sited where major 
transportation services (i.e., highways and rail lines) are available 
and are less prone to high traffic delays and similar disruptions that 
are more common in population centers. In addition, the transportation 
of goods is typically done in large volumes--by truck or train--to 
reduce costs, which in turn reduces the workforce needed and the number 
of people at the warehouse and in particular near the refrigeration 
equipment. These factors allow for more consideration of the use of 
refrigerants that do pose toxicity and flammability risks, such as R-
717, than in other applications where more people might be at risk, 
such as an office building.
    Limitations on the use of R-717 do exist. For example, it is 
reported that charge sizes exceeding 10,000 pounds of R-717 ``may 
require government-mandated process safety management (PSM) and [a] 
risk management plan (RMP)''.\120\ Various state and local building 
codes could also apply and adherence to such codes might hinder or even 
eliminate the use of R-717 in some cold storage warehouses. Likewise, 
regulations may require employing operators with special levels of 
expertise, reporting of use or accidental releases, and other actions 
not typically required for other alternatives, increasing the operating 
cost compared to facilities using other refrigerants. These increased 
costs however are often offset given the high energy efficiencies 
typically achieved with ammonia systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \120\ ASHRAE, 2014. 2014 Handbook--Refrigeration. The American 
Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers, 
Inc. Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ISBN 978-1-936504-71-8; ISSN 1930-7195.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some of the limitations on the use of R-717 in cold storage 
warehouses may be overcome with system designs that have been 
introduced or have been more fully explored recently. These include low 
charge packaged R-717 systems, R-717/R-744 cascade systems, and 
indirect secondary-loop systems using R-717 as the primary refrigerant 
in a machine room separated from the cooled interior. These systems are 
described in market characterizations found in the docket to

[[Page 22851]]

this proposed rule (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).\121\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \121\ ICF, 2016h. Market Characterization for Fire Suppression, 
Comfort Cooling, Cold Storage, and Household Refrigeration 
Industries in the United States. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency. October 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Where R-717 was not used, cold storage warehouses traditionally 
used CFC-12, R-502 and HCFC-22. With the 1996 CFC phaseout, and the 
restriction on the use of newly manufactured HCFC-22 in new equipment 
that took effect January 1, 2010, R-404A or R-507A are generally used 
when R-717 is not chosen. Two nonflammable HFC/HFO blends, R-448A and 
R-449A, are designed to perform similarly to R-404A and R-507A and are 
under investigation for this use. EPA also notes that a major retailer 
recently announced progress on implementing HFC-free food distribution 
centers.\122\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \122\ The White House, 2015. FACT SHEET: Obama Administration 
and Private-Sector Leaders Announce Ambitious Commitments and Robust 
Progress to Address Potent Greenhouse Gases, October 15, 2015. 
Accessible at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/15/fact-sheet-obama-administration-and-private-sector-leaders-announce.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    For new cold storage warehouses, EPA is proposing to change the 
status of the following refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable: 
HFC-227ea, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-
407B, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, 
R-422D, R-423A, R-424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-438A, R-507A, and RS-44 (2003 
composition).
    EPA understands that existing cold storage warehouses may undergo 
expansion to handle needs such as increased production, consolidation 
of distribution points, or increased population or other reasons for 
increased demands of the products stored. Such expansions could include 
a physical expansion of the storage space or using racking techniques 
to increase the amount of product within a given facility. The owner of 
cold storage warehouses undergoing such expansions (or the owner's 
designer) may determine that a new system needs to be added. That new 
system could be a complete newly manufactured system separate from the 
existing system, or it could be equipment and refrigerant added to the 
existing system increasing the capacity of the existing system. In both 
cases, EPA considers these actions as the manufacturing of a new system 
and hence that equipment could be affected by the proposed changes of 
status, as explained further below.
    EPA addressed the difference between a ``new'' and ``retrofit'' 
system as used in the SNAP program in a previous rule (80 FR 42902-
42903; July 20, 2015). As used in the SNAP program, ``new'' refers to 
the manufacture and often installation of a refrigeration system, which 
may occur on a newly manufactured or an existing cold storage 
warehouse. This proposed action would apply to expansion of the 
refrigeration system in an existing cold storage warehouse as being 
designated a ``new'' system if the capacity of that existing 
refrigeration system is increased to handle the expansion. On the other 
hand, if an existing refrigeration system is extended (for instance, by 
adding additional refrigerant lines and evaporators to a newly 
manufactured or newly commissioned building, to a portion of the 
existing facility previously not used for cold storage, or to an 
extension of the previous building), without requiring an increase in 
capacity, the system is not considered ``new'' and hence may continue 
its operations with the existing refrigerant. Likewise, a facility may 
increase the amount of products it handles while at the same time 
providing better sealing around infiltration points and/or increasing 
the insulation on walls and roofs, and thereby avoid the need to 
increase the refrigeration capacity of the equipment serving the cold 
storage warehouse. EPA requests comment on the definition of ``new'' 
and how it applies to cold storage warehouses. In particular, EPA 
requests comments on the likelihood and frequency that existing cold 
storage warehouses are expanded and whether it is typical to utilize or 
expand the existing refrigeration system to address the increased load 
from the facility expansion or whether it is typical to install a new 
system specifically to handle that expansion.
iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to other 
refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    For new cold storage warehouses, acceptable refrigerants for which 
we are not proposing a change of status in this end-use include: 
FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, IKON B, KDD6, R-407C, R-407F, R-437A, 
R-450A, R-513A, R-717, R-744, RS-24 (2002 composition), SP34E, THR-02, 
and THR-03.
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \123\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for acceptable alternatives for new cold storage warehouses may be 
found in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \123\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    The refrigerants we are proposing to find unacceptable through this 
action have zero ODPs, but they have GWPs ranging from 2,090 to 3,990. 
As shown in Table 10, acceptable alternatives have GWPs ranging from 
zero to 1,820.

             Table 10--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Refrigerants in New Cold Storage Warehouses 1 2 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Refrigerants                 GWP          ODP               VOC                    Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ammonia, CO2, R-450A, R-513A.......        0-630            0  No..................  No change.
IKON A, IKON B, THR-02.............       30-560            0  Yes \3\.............  No change.
HFC-134a, R-407C, R-407F...........  1,430-1,820            0  No..................  No change.
FOR12A, FOR12B, KDD6, R-437A, RS-24    920-1,810            0  Yes \3\.............  No change.
 (2002 composition), SP34E, THR-03.
R-407A, R-407B, R-410A, R-410B, R-   2,090-2,800            0  No..................  Unacceptable.
 421A, R-423A.
R-125/290/134a/600a (55/1/42.5/      2,260-2,730            0  Yes \3\.............  Unacceptable.
 1.5), R-417A, R-422B, R-422D, R-
 424A, R-438A, RS-44 (2003
 composition).
HFC-227ea, R-421B, R-404A, R-507A..  3,190-3,990            0  No..................  Unacceptable.

[[Page 22852]]

 
R-422A, R-422C, R-428A, R-434A.....  3,080-3,610            0  Yes \3\.............  Unacceptable.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-uses.
\2\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely
  restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ One or more constituents of the refrigerant are VOC.

    Some of the refrigerant blends not subject to the proposed status 
change, as well as several of the substitutes subject to the proposed 
status change, include small amounts of R-290, R-600, or other 
substances that are VOCs. These amounts are small and for this end-use, 
are not expected to contribute significantly to ground level ozone 
formation.\124\ In the actions where EPA listed these refrigerants as 
acceptable or acceptable subject to use conditions, EPA concluded none 
of these refrigerants in this end-use pose significantly greater risk 
to ground-level ozone formation than other alternative refrigerants 
that are not VOCs or that are specifically excluded from the definition 
of VOC under CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the 
development of SIPs to attain and maintain the NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \124\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The refrigerants not subject to the proposed status change are 
highly volatile and typically evaporate or partition to air, rather 
than contaminating surface waters. Their effects on aquatic life are 
expected to be small and pose no greater risk of aquatic or ecosystem 
effects than those of other refrigerants that are subject to the 
proposed status change for this end-use.
(b) Flammability
    For the cold storage warehouse end-use, with the exception of R-
717, the acceptable refrigerants not subject to proposed changes of 
status, as well as those that are subject to proposed changes of 
status, are not flammable. R-717 is slightly flammable with a low flame 
speed; it is classified as a 2L refrigerant under ASHRAE 34 (2013). R-
717 has a long history of use as a refrigerant in cold storage 
warehouses and other applications. In the original SNAP rule, EPA noted 
``[a]mmonia has been used as a medium to low temperature refrigerant in 
vapor compression cycles for more than 100 years. Ammonia has excellent 
refrigerant properties, a characteristic pungent odor, no long-term 
atmospheric risks, and low cost. It is, however, slightly flammable and 
toxic, although it is not a cumulative poison. OSHA standards specify a 
15 minute short-term exposure limit of 35 ppm for ammonia.'' (53 FR 
13072; March 18, 1994). We further noted its use in various food and 
beverage processing and storage applications as well as other 
industrial applications. In that rule, we found R-717 acceptable for 
use in new cold storage warehouses, concluding that its overall risk to 
human health and the environment was not significantly greater than the 
other alternatives found acceptable. This conclusion was based on the 
assumption that the regulated community adheres to OSHA regulations on 
such use as well as standard refrigeration practices, such as the 
adherence to ASHRAE Standard 15, which is often utilized by local 
authorities when setting their own building and safety requirements.
(c) Toxicity
    For the cold storage warehouse end-use, with the exception of R-
717, the acceptable refrigerants not subject to the proposed status 
change, as well as those that are subject to the proposed status 
change, are of low toxicity (e.g., those listed under ASHRAE Standard 
34-2013 are class A toxicity). R-717, for which we are not proposing a 
change of status, is of a higher toxicity than some other refrigerants 
and is classified as a B refrigerant under ASHRAE 34 (2013). See 
section VI.A.4.c.iii.(b) for a discussion on the long history of use of 
R-717 and our original decision finding it acceptable in new cold 
storage warehouses.
(d) Summary
    EPA has listed as acceptable several alternatives that pose lower 
overall risk to human health and the environment than the refrigerants 
whose status we are proposing to change to unacceptable. The risks 
other than GWP are not significantly different for the alternatives 
than for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable, and 
the GWPs for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable 
are significantly higher and thus pose significantly greater risk.
iv. When would the status change?
    EPA is proposing a change of status date for new cold storage 
warehouses of January 1, 2023, which the Agency believes is the 
earliest date by which the technical challenges can be met for a safe 
and smooth transition to alternatives, particularly considering the 
various equipment types that could be employed to provide the cooling 
necessary for new cold storage warehouses and the requirement for many 
of these equipment types to meet energy conservation standards while 
undergoing such a transition. Given the widespread use of other 
acceptable alternatives, particularly R-717, EPA expects that only a 
limited number of new cold storage warehouses, including expansions at 
existing facilities, would otherwise have been designed to use one of 
the alternatives for which we are proposing a change of status. 
Nonetheless, because of the restrictions that may apply on the use of 
ammonia at the local level, and the variety of equipment that could be 
applied at a cold storage warehouse, EPA expects that this period of 
time is necessary until acceptable alternatives will become available 
for cold storage warehouses. HFC blends, primarily R-404A and R-507A, 
like CFCs and HCFCs in the past, may have been used where R-717 was 
deemed by the owner as impractical, costly, onerous and/or too risky to 
use, given the restrictions that might exist in certain locations or 
for certain applications. For such locations and applications, the cold 
storage warehouse industry may need the time proposed to develop 
equipment with other alternative refrigerants or address the issues 
that exist with R-717 and the other alternatives that are not subject 
to the proposed change in status. As explained below, certain types of 
equipment potentially applied in cold storage warehouses are subject to 
energy conservation standards, and hence time will be required to 
design, test and certify equipment for those standards, while at the 
same time using acceptable alternatives.

[[Page 22853]]

v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    EPA is not aware of other federal rules applying to efficiency of 
cold storage warehouses (i.e., the buildings), but we find that some 
federal rules apply to equipment that could be used in this specified 
end-use. Specifically, EPA notes that air-cooled commercial unitary air 
conditioners and heat pumps (``CUACs'' and ``CUHPs'') might be applied 
at cold storage warehouses, and such equipment is subject to DOE energy 
conservation standards.
    DOE recently issued a pre-publication version of a direct final 
rule affecting CUACs and CUHPs (see docket numbers EERE-2013-BT-STD-
0007 and EERE-2013-BT-STD-0021). DOE's standards require that minimum 
energy efficiency levels be met by January 1, 2018 and that a second 
phase of minimum energy efficiency levels be met by January 1, 2023. 
The 2023 date was chosen by the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking 
Federal Advisory Committee Working Group as a time when alternative 
refrigerants could be adopted during design modifications for the 
second phase of DOE's minimum energy efficiency levels. In adopting a 
2023 date, DOE stated ``In recognition of the issues related to 
alternative refrigerants, members of the Appliance Standards and 
Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) Working Group agreed as 
part of the Term Sheet to delay implementation of the second phase of 
increased energy conservation standard levels until January 1, 2023, in 
part to align dates with potential refrigerant phase-outs and to 
provide sufficient development lead time after safety requirements for 
acceptable alternatives have been established.'' (http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/12/f27/CUAC-CUHP%20CWAF%20Direct%20Final%20Rule.pdf). Further, DOE indicated that 
``Delaying the implementation of the second phase of standards in the 
manner recommended and agreed to by the Working Group will provide 
manufacturers with flexibility and additional time to comply with both 
energy conservation standards and potential refrigerant changes, 
allowing manufacturers to better coordinate equipment redesign to 
reduce the cumulative [regulatory] burden.''
    DOE issued a final rulemaking on June 3, 2014 (79 FR 32049) that 
set nineteen energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and 
walk-in freezers with a compliance date of June 5, 2017. Due to 
litigation regarding this rulemaking, DOE vacated six of those 
standards for refrigeration systems and is currently engaged in a 
negotiated rulemaking to address the standards as referenced in the 
agency's technical amendments final rulemaking (80 FR 69837, November 
12, 2015). For purposes of the DOE regulations, the Energy Conservation 
Act 42 U.S.C. 6311(20) defines walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers as 
having a total chilled storage area of less than 3,000 square feet. EPA 
considers the vast majority of such equipment to fit within the retail 
food refrigeration end-use, rather than the cold storage warehouse end-
use. As described in the July 20, 2015 SNAP final rule, walk-in coolers 
and walk-in freezers as pertaining to DOE regulations could fall in the 
SNAP retail food refrigeration end-use category ``supermarket system'' 
(i.e., where refrigerant from a multi-compressor rack was supplied to 
the evaporator(s) in the walk-in enclosed storage space), ``remote 
condensing unit'' (where a dedicated one- or two-compressor system 
installed in the field supplied the refrigerant to the walk-in enclosed 
storage space) or ``stand-alone equipment'' (where the enclosed storage 
space is manufactured and delivered with all components including the 
refrigerant). Thus, we consider there to be no regulatory overlap 
between the vast majority of equipment to provide cooling to cold 
storage warehouses, which is addressed by this proposed rule and the 
DOE energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers. One 
exception might be where a refrigeration system (that does not 
otherwise fit into the SNAP end-use categories of supermarket system or 
remote condensing units) supplied refrigerant to an enclosed storage 
space with an area less than 3,000 square foot. This enclosed storage 
space would be required to meet both this proposed rule and the DOE 
requirements. On the other hand, if this refrigeration system supplied 
refrigerant to two enclosed storage spaces, one with an area greater 
than 3,000 square foot and one with an area less than that amount, both 
spaces would be covered by this proposed rule as cold storage 
warehouses while only the smaller room is covered by the DOE 
requirements.
vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on the types and subdivisions of cold 
storage warehouses explained here and whether other subdivisions of the 
end-use should be considered for this action. In particular, EPA 
requests comments on whether different alternatives are used or are 
otherwise available for different types of cold storage warehouses, why 
such differences exist, and whether the proposed change of status 
decisions, including the date such changes occur, might be affected 
considering such differences.
    EPA requests comment on the proposed decision to change the status 
of the identified substitutes to unacceptable on January 1, 2023, and 
on the specific steps that must be undertaken to commercialize cold 
storage warehouse refrigeration equipment with alternative 
refrigerants, including the time each such step would take, which steps 
must occur in sequence, and which steps could occur in parallel. EPA 
requests comments on if and how this timing might vary based on the 
characteristics of the cold storage warehouse and application of the 
equipment. Such characteristics could include but are not limited to 
the equipment and system design (i.e., direct or indirect, central or 
unitary/packaged equipment), the required temperatures, jurisdictional 
limitations (e.g., at State or local levels), and considerations of 
risk and safety (e.g., to workers, those transporting goods to/from the 
facility, and the local public depending on the location). EPA requests 
comment on how these different distinctions may affect any federal 
rules that apply to the equipment or subsets thereof, for instance DOE 
energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers.
    Additionally, EPA requests comment on any energy efficiency 
performance impacts of using the refrigerants not subject to the change 
of status proposed today that could affect the ability of manufacturers 
to meet current energy efficiency requirements or standards for cold 
storage warehouses in the United States. Also, EPA requests comment on 
the ability of cold storage warehouses using refrigerants other than 
those for which we are proposing a status change to meet those energy 
efficiency requirements or standards. In particular, we request comment 
on the specific steps and timing of such steps required to design and 
develop cold storage warehouses to meet applicable federal energy 
efficiency requirements.
    EPA requests comment on the distinctions made here between cold 
storage warehouses and other SNAP end-uses. In particular, EPA requests 
comments on whether such distinctions are clear and if not, comments on 
how to make such distinctions clear so that they are understood by the 
regulated community.

[[Page 22854]]

    EPA requests comment on the definition of ``new'' and how it 
applies to cold storage warehouses. In particular, EPA requests 
comments on the likelihood and frequency that existing cold storage 
warehouses are expanded and whether it is typical to utilize or expand 
the existing refrigeration system to address the increased load from 
the facility expansion or whether it is typical to install a new system 
specifically to handle that expansion.
    EPA also requests comment on the current and expected use of 
refrigerants in cold storage warehouses. In particular, we request 
comment on the continued use of ODS and on the use of the HFCs for 
which we propose a change of status. We request comment on the factors 
that led to the decision to use those refrigerants as opposed to other 
refrigerants for which we are not proposing a change of status, 
including especially R-717, which as explained above has been used 
widely in this end-use. We request comment on the use of other 
alternatives, including the ones for which we are not proposing a 
change of status and others that may be in development, and the 
expected availability and penetration into the cold storage warehouse 
market for such alternatives. Two nonflammable HFC/HFO blends, R-448A 
and R-449A, are designed to perform similarly to R-404A and R-507A and 
are under investigation for this use. EPA requests comment on the 
status of such investigations and results seen to date.
    We request comment on our interpretation that there may be some 
overlap between EPA's proposed status change in cold storage warehouses 
and DOE's regulatory activity on walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers, 
as discussed in section VI.A.4.c.v above.
d. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for New 
Retail Food Refrigeration (Refrigerated Food Processing and Dispensing 
Equipment)
    As provided in the following table, EPA is proposing to change the 
status of numerous refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable for new 
retail food refrigeration (refrigerated food processing and dispensing 
equipment):

      Table 11--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for Retail Food
                              Refrigeration
         [Refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Proposed
            End-use                   Substitutes           decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retail food refrigeration       HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/ Unacceptable as
 (refrigerated food processing   290/134a/600a (55.0/    of January 1,
 and dispensing equipment)       1.0/42.5/1.5), R-       2021.
 (new only).                     404A, R-407A, R-407B,
                                 R-407C, R-407F, R-
                                 410A, R-410B, R-417A,
                                 R-421A, R-421B, R-
                                 422A, R-422B, R-422C,
                                 R-422D, R-424A, R-
                                 428A, R-434A, R-437A,
                                 R-438A, R-507A, RS-44
                                 (2003 formulation).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. What is the affected end-use?
    In the SNAP July 20, 2015, final rule (80 FR 42870), EPA clarified 
in the response to comments that ``equipment designed to make or 
process cold food and beverages that are dispensed via a nozzle, 
including soft-serve ice cream machines, `slushy' iced beverage 
dispensers, and soft-drink dispensers'' was not included as part of the 
retail food refrigeration end-use categories specifically identified in 
that final rule. In the July 20, 2015, final rule, EPA clarified that 
this equipment is part of a separate end-use category within the retail 
food refrigeration end-use--``refrigerated food processing and 
dispensing equipment.'' A variety of food and beverage products are 
dispensed and often processed by equipment within this end-use 
category, including but not limited to: Chilled and frozen beverages 
(carbonated and uncarbonated, alcoholic and nonalcoholic); frozen 
custards, gelato, ice cream, Italian ice, sorbets and yogurts; 
milkshakes, ``slushies'' and smoothies, and whipped cream. For 
instance, some such equipment will process the product by combining 
ingredients, mixing and preparing it at the proper temperature, while 
others function mainly as a holding tank to deliver the product at the 
desired temperature or to deliver chilled ingredients for the 
processing, mixing and preparation. Some may use a refrigerant in a 
heat pump, or utilize waste heat from the cooling system, to provide 
hot beverages. Some may also provide heating functions to melt or 
dislodge ice or for sanitation purposes.
    We noted in the July 20, 2015, final rule that refrigerated food 
processing and dispensing equipment ``can be self-contained or can be 
connected via piping to a dedicated condensing unit located elsewhere'' 
(80 FR 42902) and clarify here that both types fall within this end-use 
category. The equipment can be air-cooled although in some cases where 
multiple units are together and/or other space constraints exist (and 
hence air movement to the condenser would be compromised), a separate 
water line could be used to remove heat.
    This end-use category does not include certain types of 
refrigeration equipment. For example, units designed solely to cool and 
dispense water, including those that feature detachable containers of 
water as well as those that are supplied directly from a shared water 
supply, fall under the separate ``Water Coolers'' end-use within the 
SNAP program. In addition, this end-use category does not include the 
preparation of chilled products in factory situations; such equipment 
falls under the SNAP end-use ``Industrial Process Refrigeration'' and 
are characterized as being those that do not provide products to the 
ultimate consumer for immediate or near-immediate consumption. Also 
included in the industrial process refrigeration end-use are blast 
chillers and freezers, including those that may be used at consumer 
settings such as schools, hotels, supermarkets, hospitals, restaurants, 
etc. Further, this end-use category does not include the equipment used 
to transport food products between distinct points of production and 
storage, such as refrigerated trucks that may transport products from a 
factory to a cold storage warehouse or from that warehouse to a 
supermarket or restaurant. That type of equipment falls under the SNAP 
end-use ``Refrigerated Transport.''
    As part of the retail food refrigeration end-use, any alternative 
that has been listed broadly acceptable for the retail food 
refrigeration end-use, as opposed to being listed for only an 
individual end-use category within the retail food end-use, is likewise 
acceptable for this end-use category. For example, because R-744 was 
found acceptable for the retail food refrigeration end-use (74 FR 
50129; September 30, 2009), it is acceptable for the refrigerated food 
processing and dispensing equipment category within the retail food 
refrigeration end-use. Those alternatives that have been found broadly

[[Page 22855]]

unacceptable for this end-use, or those that have been found acceptable 
only for other specific end-use categories in this end-use, would not 
be acceptable alternatives under current regulations. For example, 
propane has been listed specifically for certain end-use categories 
such as standalone reach in coolers indicating it is not necessarily 
acceptable for all other end-use categories within the retail food end-
use. Hence, the following alternatives are currently acceptable for new 
refrigerated food process and dispensing equipment: FOR12A, FOR12B, 
HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, IKON A, IKON B, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/
1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, 
R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, 
R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-450A, R-507A, R-744, RS-24 (2002 
formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-02, and THR-03. On 
the other hand, because in our December 2011 and April 2015 final rules 
we found R-290, R-600a and R-441A acceptable only for stand-alone 
units, those alternatives are not currently acceptable for equipment in 
this end-use category.
ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    For new refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment, EPA 
is proposing to change the status of the following refrigerants from 
acceptable to unacceptable: HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/
1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, 
R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-428A, 
R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 formulation).
iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to other 
refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    For new retail food refrigeration (refrigerated food processing and 
dispensing equipment), acceptable refrigerants for which we are not 
proposing a change of status in this end-use category include: FOR12A, 
FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, IKON B, R-426A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), R-
450A, R-744, SP34E, THR-02 and THR-03.
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \125\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for acceptable alternatives for new refrigerated food processing and 
dispensing equipment may be found in the docket for this rulemaking 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \125\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    The refrigerants for which we are proposing a change of status 
through this action have zero ODP, but they have GWPs ranging from 
1,770 to 3,990. As shown in Table 12, acceptable alternatives have GWPs 
ranging from one to 1,510.

               Table 12--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Refrigerants in New Retail Food Refrigeration
                          [Refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment] 1 2 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Refrigerants                  GWP             ODP               VOC                  Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CO2, HFC-134a, R-450A............         1-1,430               0  No................  No change.
FOR12A, FOR12B, IKON A, IKON B, R-       30-1,510               0  Yes \3\...........  No change.
 426A, RS-24 (2002 composition),
 SP34E, THR-02, THR-03.
R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-    1,770-2,800               0  No................  Unacceptable.
 410A, R-410B, R-421A.
KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55/1/      1,810-2,730               0  Yes \3\...........  Unacceptable.
 42.5/1.5), R-417A, R-422B, R-
 422D, R-424A, R-437A, R-438A, RS-
 44 (2003 composition).
HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-421B, R-507A     3,190-3,990               0  No................  Unacceptable.
R-422A, R-422C, R-428A, R-434A...     3,080-3,610               0  Yes \3\...........  Unacceptable.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-uses.
\2\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely
  restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ One or more constituents of the refrigerant are VOC.

    Some of the refrigerant blends not subject to the proposed status 
change, as well as several of the substitutes subject to the proposed 
status change, include small amounts of VOC such as R-290 (propane) and 
R-600 (butane). These amounts are small, and for this end-use are not 
expected to contribute significantly to ground level ozone 
formation.\126\ In the actions where EPA listed these refrigerants as 
acceptable, EPA concluded none of these refrigerants in this end-use 
pose significantly greater risk to ground-level ozone formation than 
other alternative refrigerants that are not VOCs or that are 
specifically excluded from the definition of VOC under CAA regulations 
(see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs to attain and 
maintain the NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \126\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The refrigerants not subject to the proposed status change are 
highly volatile and typically evaporate or partition to air, rather 
than contaminating surface waters. Their effects on aquatic life are 
expected to be small and pose no greater risk of aquatic or ecosystem 
effects than those of other refrigerants that are subject to the 
proposed status change for this end-use.
(b) Flammability
    For the retail food refrigeration (refrigerated food processing and 
dispensing equipment) end-use category, all other refrigerants, 
including those for which we are proposing to change the status to 
unacceptable, are not flammable (e.g., those listed under ASHRAE 
Standard 34-2013 are class 1 flammability).

[[Page 22856]]

(c) Toxicity
    Toxicity is not a significant concern for the refrigerants we are 
proposing to list as unacceptable. Their toxicity is comparable to that 
of other alternatives that are acceptable in this end-use. For the 
retail food refrigeration (refrigerated food processing and dispensing 
equipment) end-use category, all other refrigerants, including those 
for which we are proposing to change the status to unacceptable, are of 
lower toxicity (e.g., those listed under ASHRAE Standard 34-2013 are 
class A toxicity).
(d) Summary
    EPA has listed as acceptable several alternatives that pose lower 
overall risk to human health and the environment than the refrigerants 
whose status we are proposing to change to unacceptable. The risks 
other than GWP are not significantly different for the alternatives 
than for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable, and 
the GWPs for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable 
are significantly higher and thus pose significantly greater risk.
iv. When would the status change?
    EPA is proposing a change of status date for new retail food 
refrigeration (refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment) 
of January 1, 2021, which the Agency believes is the earliest date by 
which the technical challenges can be met for a safe and smooth 
transition to alternatives particularly considering the need for 
equipment to comply with any sanitation, safety and energy conservation 
standards while continuing to maintain the properties, characteristics 
and quality of the food or beverage provided by the equipment. EPA 
recognizes that some manufacturers will need time to test alternative 
refrigerants and develop equipment to use them while meeting other 
standards that may apply. We find however that components for some 
refrigerants, such as HFC-134a, are in wide supply. Further, as noted 
in our July 2015 rule, at least one major beverage retailer has chosen 
R-744 as its alternative refrigerant for stand-alone equipment and 
vending machines. Given the change of status dates established for such 
products in that rule (from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2020) precede 
the change of status date we are proposing here, we expect an 
increasing supply of R-744 components that could be utilized in 
refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment. We note that two 
substitutes are currently awaiting SNAP review for this end-use. These 
two substitutes, R-448A and R-449A, are designed to mimic R-404A and 
could be readily adapted to those refrigerants if they are listed as 
acceptable in the future. As discussed below, there are other relevant 
requirements that mean that newly designed equipment will need to be 
certified as complying with sanitation and safety standards, and some 
may be required to meet energy conservation standards issued by DOE. 
These standards apply to similar equipment that falls within other end-
use categories of the retail food refrigeration end-use, and changes of 
status for those end-use categories take effect January 1, 2020, or 
before. Those requirements will provide additional incentive for 
refrigerant producers to increase low-GWP refrigerant supply, for 
component manufacturers to test and qualify components for such low-GWP 
refrigerants, and for manufacturers to gain the technical knowledge 
necessary to successfully implement those refrigerants. Hence, we 
foresee that additional equipment using similar low-GWP refrigerants, 
and using components that are expected to become available, could be 
similarly transitioned in a similar amount of time as finalized for 
those other end-use categories.
v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    EPA is not aware of any energy conservation standards issued by DOE 
that apply to refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment. 
EPA also understands that food safety and sanitation standards, such as 
those from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National 
Sanitation Foundation (NSF), as well as product safety standards, such 
as those from UL, apply.
vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on the refrigerant(s) used for equipment 
in this end-use category, and detailed descriptions of the functions 
and why a particular refrigerant is used. We also seek comment on the 
applicability, technical feasibility, research, development and use of 
HCs, HFC/HFO blends, R-744 or other low-GWP alternatives for equipment 
within this end-use category. Additionally, we request comment on 
applicable standards for equipment used in the United States as well as 
those that apply to products that are pre-charged with refrigerant and 
exported to other countries and specifically request comment on how 
those standards may affect when equipment can be transitioned away from 
the alternatives we are proposing to list as unacceptable. Likewise, we 
request comment on DOE energy conservation standards and other federal 
requirements that apply to this equipment.
    Additionally, EPA requests comment on any energy efficiency 
performance impacts of using the refrigerants not subject to the change 
of status proposed today that could affect the ability of manufacturers 
to meet current energy efficiency requirements or standards for 
refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment in the United 
States. Also, EPA requests comment on the ability of refrigerated food 
processing and dispensing equipment using refrigerants other than those 
for which we are proposing a status change to meet those energy 
efficiency requirements or standards. In particular, we request comment 
on the specific steps and timing of such steps required to design and 
develop refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment to meet 
applicable federal energy efficiency requirements.
    EPA requests detailed comment on the proposed decision to change 
the status of the identified substitutes to unacceptable on January 1, 
2021, and on the specific steps that must be undertaken for 
refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment with alternative 
refrigerants to be available, including the time each such step would 
take, which steps must occur in sequence, and which steps could occur 
in parallel. EPA requests comments on if and how this timing might vary 
based on the characteristics of the equipment. Such characteristics 
could include, but are not limited to, compressor type, condenser 
design (e.g., air cooled or water cooled), refrigeration capacity, 
intended dispensing rate (e.g., short-term rush dispensing or steady 
dispensing over longer time), and refrigerant currently used and 
potentially used.
    Additionally, EPA requests comment on our description of this end-
use category to ensure it is sufficiently understood particularly by 
those in the equipment manufacturing and equipment servicing industry. 
For example, are there other technical factors that should be used to 
describe this end-use category? In particular, do such factors describe 
equipment types that are sufficiently distinct such that they are 
better described as two separate end-use categories (e.g., processing/
dispensing and dispensing-only)?

[[Page 22857]]

e. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Refrigerants for New 
Household Refrigerators and Freezers
    As provided in the following table, EPA is proposing to change the 
status of numerous refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable for new 
household refrigerators and freezers:

       Table 13--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for Household
                       Refrigerators and Freezers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Proposed
            End-use                   Substitutes           decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Household refrigerators and     FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-    Unacceptable as
 freezers (new only).            134a, KDD6, R-125/290/  of January 1,
                                 134a/600a (55.0/1.0/    2021.
                                 42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-
                                 407C, R-407F, R-410A,
                                 R-410B, R-417A, R-
                                 421A, R-421B, R-422A,
                                 R-422B, R-422C, R-
                                 422D, R-424A, R-426A,
                                 R-428A, R-434A, R-
                                 437A, R-438A, R-507A,
                                 RS-24 (2002
                                 formulation), RS-44
                                 (2003 formulation),
                                 SP34E, and THR-03.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. What is the affected end-use?
    Household refrigerators, freezers and combination refrigerator/
freezers are intended primarily for residential use, although they may 
be used outside the home. The designs and refrigeration capacities of 
equipment vary widely. Household refrigerators and freezers are 
composed of three main categories of equipment. Household freezers only 
offer storage space at freezing temperatures, while household 
refrigerators only offer storage space at non-freezing temperatures. 
Products with both a refrigerator and freezer in a single unit are most 
common. In addition to the most common types, other small refrigerated 
household appliances exist (i.e., chilled kitchen drawers, wine 
coolers, and mini-fridges). Household refrigerators and freezers have 
all refrigeration components integrated, and for the smallest types, 
the refrigeration circuit is entirely brazed or welded. These systems 
are charged with refrigerant at the factory and typically require only 
an electricity supply to begin operation.
    The 2014 ASHRAE Handbook of Refrigeration provides an overview of 
food preservation in regards to household refrigerators and freezers. 
Generally, a storage temperature between 32 and 39 [deg]F (0 to 3.9 
[deg]C) is desirable for preserving fresh food. Humidity and higher or 
lower temperatures are more suitable for certain foods and beverages. 
Wine chillers, for example, are frequently used for storing wine, and 
have slightly higher optimal temperatures from 45 to 65 [deg]F (7.2 to 
18.3 [deg]C). Freezers and combination refrigerator-freezers that are 
designed to store food for long durations have temperatures below 8 
[deg]F (-13.3 [deg]C) and are designed to hold temperatures near 0 to 5 
[deg]F (-17.7 to -15 [deg]C). In single-door refrigerators, the optimum 
conditions for food preservation are typically warmer than this due to 
the fact that food storage is not intended for long-term storage.
    The following alternatives are currently acceptable for new 
household refrigerators and freezers: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-
152a, IKON A, IKON B, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-
290, R-404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-
422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-427A, R-428A, R-434A, 
R-437A, R-438A, R-441A, R-450A, R-513A, R-507A, R-600a, RS-24 (2002 
formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-02 and THR-03. Of 
those, R-290, R-441A and R-600a are acceptable subject to use 
conditions.
    Currently, the most commonly used refrigerant in the United States 
for household refrigerators and freezers is R-134a, a HFC with a GWP of 
1,430. However, throughout many parts of the world, R-600a with a GWP 
of 8 is the most commonly used refrigerant and there are ongoing 
efforts to help facilitate the adoption and continued use of R-600a in 
this industry.\127\ The European Union (EU) banned the use of HFCs with 
a GWP greater than 150 (which includes R-134a) for household 
refrigerators and freezers as of January 1, 2015.\128\ R-600a has been 
used in Europe for approximately two decades. Throughout parts of Asia, 
Africa, and South America, R-600a is the dominant refrigerant for this 
end-use. In its 2014 assessment report,\129\ the TEAP's RTOC projects 
that by 2020 about 75 percent of new household refrigerators globally 
will use R-600a, a small percentage will use HFOs, and the rest will 
use HFC-134a. There are other alternatives that can be considered too. 
EPA also listed R-450A and R-513A as acceptable for use in this end-use 
(79 FR 62863, October 21, 2014; 80 FR 42053, July 16, 2015, 
respectively). As noted in the preamble to those Notices of 
Acceptability, both R-450A and R-513A were designed to match the 
characteristics and performance of HFC-134a and therefore we conclude 
that they may be under consideration by manufacturers as well.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \127\ ORNL, 2015. ORNL's JUMP Challenge: JUMP in to Advance Tech 
Innovation! Presented by Brian Fricke, Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory. November 17, 2015.
    \128\ EU, 2014. Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 of the European 
Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on fluorinated 
greenhouse gases and repealing Regulation (EC) No 842/2006. 
Available online at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.150.01.0195.01.ENG.
    \129\ RTOC, 2015. 2014 Report of the Refrigeration, Air-
Conditioning and Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee. Available 
at: http://conf.montreal-protocol.org/meeting/mop/mop-27/presession/Background%20Documents%20are%20available%20in%20English%20only/RTOC-Assessment-Report-2014.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA previously found a number of flammable HC refrigerants 
including R-290, R-441A and R-600a as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions in household refrigerators and freezers (76 FR 78832, 
December 20, 2011; 80 FR 19454, April 10, 2015). Hydrocarbon 
refrigerants have been in use for over 20 years in countries such as 
Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan.\130\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \130\ Ecomall, 2015. Greenfreeze: A Revolution in Domestic 
Refrigeration. Accessible at: http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/greenfreeze.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

ii. Which refrigerants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    For new household refrigerators and freezers, EPA is proposing to 
change the status of the following refrigerants from acceptable to 
unacceptable: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a 
(55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-
421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-428A, 
R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 
formulation), SP34E, and THR-03.

[[Page 22858]]

iii. How do these proposed unacceptable refrigerants compare to other 
refrigerants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    For new household refrigerators and freezers, acceptable 
refrigerants for which we are not proposing a change of status in this 
end-use include: HFC-152a, IKON A, IKON B, and THR-02; two HFC/HFO 
blends R-513A and R-450A; and HC refrigerants R-290, R-441A and R-600a.
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \131\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for acceptable alternatives for new household refrigerators and 
freezers may be found in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-
2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \131\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    The refrigerants we are finding unacceptable through this action 
also have zero ODP, but they have GWPs ranging from 920 to 3,990. As 
shown in Table 14, other alternatives, some of which are acceptable 
subject to use conditions, have GWP ranging from three to 630.

      Table 14--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Refrigerants in New Household Refrigerators and Freezers 1 2 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Refrigerants                  GWP             ODP               VOC                  Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IKON A, IKON B, R-290, R-441A, R-           3-560               0  Yes \3\...........  No change.
 600a, THR-02.
HFC-152a.........................             124               0  No................  No change.
R-450A, R-513A...................         600-630               0  No................  No change.
HFC-134a.........................           1,430               0  No................  Unacceptable.
FOR12A, FOR12B, R-426A, RS-24           920-1,510               0  Yes \3\...........  Unacceptable.
 (2002 composition), SP34E, THR-
 03.
R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-    1,770-2,630               0  No................  Unacceptable.
 421A.
KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55/1/      1,810-2,730               0  Yes \3\...........  Unacceptable.
 42.5/1.5), R-417A, R-422B, R-
 422D, R-424A, R-437A, R-438A, RS-
 44 (2003 composition).
R-404A, R-421B, R-507A...........     3,190-3,990               0  No................  Unacceptable.
R-422A, R-422C, R-428A, R-434A...     3,080-3,610               0  Yes \3\...........  Unacceptable.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-uses.
\2\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely
  restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ One or more constituents of the refrigerant are VOC.

    Three substitutes that remain acceptable subject to use conditions, 
R-290, R-600a, and R-441A, are or are composed primarily of VOC. EPA's 
analysis indicates that their use as refrigerants in this end-use are 
not expected to contribute significantly to ground level ozone 
formation.\132\ In the actions where EPA listed these refrigerants as 
acceptable subject to use conditions, EPA concluded none of these 
refrigerants in this end-use pose significantly greater risk to ground-
level ozone formation than other alternative refrigerants that are not 
VOCs or that are specifically excluded from the definition of VOC under 
CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of 
SIPs to attain and maintain the NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \132\ ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. 
February, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The refrigerants not subject to the proposed status change are 
highly volatile and typically evaporate or partition to air, rather 
than contaminating surface waters. Their effects on aquatic life are 
expected to be small and pose no greater risk of aquatic or ecosystem 
effects than those of other refrigerants that are subject to the 
proposed status change for this end-use.
(b) Flammability
    For household refrigerators and freezers, with the exception of 
HFC-152a, R-290, R-600a and R-441A, all other refrigerants listed as 
acceptable, including those for which we are proposing to change the 
status to unacceptable, are not flammable. The HCs R-290 and R-600a are 
classified as Class A3 (lower toxicity, higher flammability) 
refrigerants under the standard ASHRAE 34 (2013) while HFC-152a is 
classified as Class A2 (lower toxicity, lower flammability). To address 
flammability, EPA listed these HCs as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions. The use conditions include conditions consistent with 
industry standards, limits on charge size, and requirements for 
warnings and markings on equipment to inform consumers and technicians 
of potential flammability hazards. Our assessment and listing decisions 
(76 FR 78832; December 20, 2011 and FR 80 1954; April 10, 2015) found 
that the overall risk, including the risk due to flammability with the 
use conditions, is not significantly greater than for other 
refrigerants at that time and likewise are not significantly greater 
than for the refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable. EPA 
found HFC-152a acceptable for new household refrigerators and freezers 
in the original SNAP rule indicating ``[a]lthough HFC-152a is 
flammable, a risk assessment demonstrated it could be used safely in 
this end-use'' (59 FR 13081; March 18, 1994).
(c) Toxicity
    Toxicity is not a significant concern for the refrigerants we are 
proposing to list as unacceptable. Their toxicity is comparable to that 
of other alternatives that are acceptable in this end-use. The 
refrigerants subject to the proposed status change and the refrigerants 
not subject to the proposed status change, if listed under ASHRAE 34 
(2013), are classified as A refrigerants (lower toxicity).
(d) Summary
    EPA has listed as acceptable several alternatives that pose lower 
overall risk to human health and the environment than the refrigerants 
whose status we are proposing to change to unacceptable. The risks 
other than GWP are not significantly different for the alternatives 
than for the refrigerants we

[[Page 22859]]

are proposing to list as unacceptable, and the GWPs for the 
refrigerants we are proposing to list as unacceptable are significantly 
higher and thus pose significantly greater risk.
iv. When would the status change?
    EPA is proposing a change of status date for new household 
refrigerators and freezers of January 1, 2021, by this date the Agency 
believes the technical challenges can be met for a safe and smooth 
transition to alternatives, particularly considering the likely use of 
alternatives that are acceptable subject to use conditions such as 
isobutane or propane. As noted above, most experts, including the TEAP, 
anticipate the majority of the household refrigeration market will use 
HC refrigerants globally and EPA does not have information suggesting 
anything different for the United States. Although some models may be 
able to transition in compliance with use conditions required for 
alternatives earlier, the Agency believes that most can transition by 
2021.
    EPA recognizes that manufacturers will need time to continue 
product design work for alternative refrigerants, drawing from current 
models used both in the United States and elsewhere. Household 
refrigerators are subject to DOE energy conservation standards and will 
need to be tested to demonstrate compliance with those standards. We 
understand that there may be limitations with regards to the 
availability of testing facilities. If the proposed change of status 
date was exceedingly ahead of the next anticipated DOE energy 
conservation standard date, it could affect the availability of testing 
facilities. DOE's previous energy conservation rulemaking for this end-
use was finalized in 2011 with a compliance date of September 15, 2014 
(76 FR 57516; September 15, 2011). EPA anticipates that any amended 
standard set by DOE for these products in an upcoming rulemaking will, 
consistent with prior rulemakings, have a compliance date several years 
following issuance of the standard and thus we expect that the 
compliance date would be no earlier than 2020. As a result, EPA's 
proposed change of status in 2021 likely would occur at approximately 
the same time as a compliance date for the next future DOE energy 
conservation standard for these products.
v. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    DOE energy conservation standards apply to household refrigerators 
and freezers, as discussed in section VI.A.4.e.iv.
vi. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on the proposed change of status date of 
January 1, 2021. In particular, EPA requests comments on the specific 
steps that must be undertaken to commercialize household refrigerators 
and freezers with alternative refrigerants in the United States, 
including the time each step would take, which steps must occur in 
sequence, and which steps could occur in parallel. EPA requests 
comments on how and if this timing might vary based on the 
characteristics of the household refrigerator and freezer. Such 
characteristics could include, but are not limited to, capacity range, 
internal volume, design (e.g., refrigerator-only, freezer-only, or 
both) and refrigerant currently used and potentially used. EPA also 
requests comment on the expected availability of alternatives for such 
equipment, including when products using such alternatives would be 
available. EPA requests comments on how such timing is expected to be 
affected by other federal rules in the future, including the 
availability of testing laboratories to analyze the performance of 
products with alternatives while meeting any applicable federal rules. 
Additionally, EPA requests comment on any energy efficiency performance 
impacts of using the refrigerants not subject to the change of status 
proposed today that could affect the ability of manufacturers to meet 
current energy efficiency requirements or standards for household 
refrigerators and freezers in the United States. Also, EPA requests 
comment on the ability of household refrigerators and freezers using 
refrigerants other than those for which we are proposing a status 
change to meet those energy efficiency requirements or standards. In 
particular, we request comment on the specific steps and timing of such 
steps required to design and develop household refrigerators and 
freezers to meet applicable federal energy efficiency requirements.

B. Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning

1. Proposed Listing of HFO-1234yf as Acceptable, Subject to Use 
Conditions, for Newly Manufactured MVAC Systems
    EPA is proposing to list HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, in MVAC systems for newly manufactured MDPVs, HD pickup 
trucks, and complete HD vans. EPA is proposing to list HFO-1234yf as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, for use in complete HD vans; we 
also are requesting comment and information on listing HFO-1234yf as 
acceptable subject, to use conditions for some incomplete HD vans. At 
this time, our proposal only includes complete HD vans because we do 
not have sufficient information on the potential for modifications to 
OEM-installed MVAC systems of incomplete HD vans by secondary and 
tertiary manufacturers and the impact of those modifications on safe 
use of HFO-1234yf. The use conditions are detailed below in section 
V.B.1.c, ``What are the proposed use conditions?''
2. What is the affected end-use?
    The vehicle types within the MVAC end-use that are addressed in 
today's proposal include limited types of heavy-duty (HD) vehicles, 
specifically, MDPVs,\133\ HD trucks, and complete HD vans.\134\ EPA has 
previously listed HFO-1234yf as acceptable subject to use conditions in 
light-duty (LD) motor vehicles and trucks (76 FR 17490; March 29, 
2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \133\ Defined at 40 CFR 86.1801-03.
    \134\ MVAC systems provide passenger comfort cooling for light-
duty cars and trucks, heavy-duty vehicles (large pick-ups, delivery 
trucks, recreational vehicles, and semi-trucks), off-road vehicles, 
buses, and rail vehicles. EPA is not addressing other types of HD 
vehicles, off-road vehicles, buses, or trains in the proposed 
listing decision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    HD vehicles are often subdivided by vehicle weight classifications, 
as defined by the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which 
is a measure of the combined curb (empty) weight and cargo carrying 
capacity of the truck. HD vehicles have GVWRs above 8,500. Table 15 
outlines the HD vehicle weight classifications commonly used. 
MDPVs,\135\ HD pickup trucks, and HD vans are Class 2b and 3 vehicles 
with GVWRs between 8,501 and 14,000 pounds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \135\ MDPVs are classified as HD vehicles based on their GVWR, 
but due to their similarities to LD vehicles they are subject to the 
GHG emissions standards established for LD trucks.

[[Page 22860]]



                                                                             Table 15--Vehicle Weight Classification
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Class                                       2b                 3                 4                 5                 6                 7                 8
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GVWR (lb).........................................................     8,501-10,000     10,001-14,000     14,001-16,000     16,001-19,500     19,501-26,000     26,001-33,000           >33,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The types of HD vehicles for which EPA is proposing to list HFO-
1234yf as acceptable, subject to use conditions, are in many ways more 
similar to LD vehicles, for which HFO-1234yf has already been approved 
under SNAP,\136\ than they are to the HD vehicles with a higher GVWR 
classification. These vehicle types are similar to LD vehicles 
technologically and most are manufactured by companies with major 
light-duty markets in the United States and in a similar manner to LD 
vehicles.\137\ Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 
(FCA) produce approximately 100 percent of HD pickup trucks and 
approximately 95 percent of HD vans, with Daimler and Nissan producing 
the remaining approximately five percent of HD vans.\138\ In many 
cases, these types of HD vehicles are versions of their LD 
counterparts.\139\ For example, the Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, and Ford 
F-150 are the LD counterparts of the HD Silverado 2500/3500, Ram 2500/
3500, and Ford F-250/F-350/F-450 pickup trucks.\140\ The primary 
difference between HD pickup trucks and vans and their LD counterpart 
vehicles is that HD pickups and vans are occupational or work vehicles 
that are designed for much higher towing and payload capabilities than 
are LD pickups and vans.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \136\ HFO-1234yf is listed as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions for newly manufactured passenger cars and light-duty 
trucks only (40 CFR part 82 subpart G).
    \137\ This is more broadly true for heavy-duty pickup trucks 
than vans because every manufacturer of heavy-duty pickup trucks 
also makes light-duty pickup trucks, while only some heavy-duty van 
manufacturers also make light-duty vans (80 FR 40148; July 13, 
2015).
    \138\ EPA, 2015. Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis: Proposed 
Rulemaking for Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency 
Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles--Phase 2. 
EPA-420-D-15-900. June 2015. Available at http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420d15900.pdf.
    \139\ ICCT, 2015. International Council on Clean Transportation: 
Regulatory Considerations for Advancing Commercial Pickup and Van 
Efficiency Technology in the United States. Available online at: 
http://www.theicct.org/us-commercial-pickups-vans-efficiency-technology.
    \140\ ICF, 2015. Market Characterization of the U.S. Motor 
Vehicle Air Conditioning Industry, U.S. Foams Industry, U.S. 
Aerosols Industry, and U.S. Commercial Refrigeration Industry. July, 
2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All types of HD vehicles can be sold as ``complete'' or 
``incomplete'' vehicles (76 FR 57259-60; September 15, 2011). Complete 
vehicles are sold by vehicle manufacturers to end-users with no 
secondary manufacturer making substantial modifications prior to 
registration and use. Incomplete vehicles are sold by vehicle 
manufacturers to secondary manufacturers without the primary load-
carrying device or container attached. With regard to HD pickup trucks 
and vans, 90 percent are sold as complete vehicles while only 10 
percent are sold as incomplete (80 FR 40331; July 13, 2015). Of the 10 
percent of HD pickups and vans that are sold as incomplete vehicles to 
secondary manufacturers, about half are HD pickup trucks and half are 
HD vans.
    Examples of modifications by secondary manufacturers to HD pickup 
trucks are installing a flatbed platform or tool storage bins. EPA is 
not aware of any equipment added by a secondary manufacturer to an 
incomplete HD pickup truck that would result in a secondary 
manufacturer modifying or adjusting the already installed MVAC system 
to provide cooling capacity.
    Incomplete vans are typically sold with no enclosed cabin area 
behind the driver's seat, and secondary manufacturer modifications 
could include applications such as conversion to ambulances, shuttle 
vans, and motor homes. Incomplete vans may include OEM MVAC systems 
that are identical to those installed in the complete van on which the 
incomplete model is based. In some cases these systems are designed 
solely for cooling the front driver area, while other systems are 
manufactured by the OEM with additional capability to provide cooling 
behind the driver area to the cabin. Some, but not all, secondary 
manufacturers use the OEM MVAC system with no modification to the 
contained refrigerant system (hoses, connections, heat exchangers, 
compressor, etc.).
3. How does HFO-1234yf compare to other refrigerants for these MVAC 
applications with respect to SNAP criteria?
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \141\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for acceptable alternatives in the relevant end-uses may be found in 
the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \141\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Available refrigerants in the end-uses subject to this proposal 
include HFC-134a, HFC-152a,\142\ and CO2.\143\ There are 
also several blend refrigerants that are listed as acceptable for new 
HD MVAC systems, subject to use conditions, including the HFC blends 
SP34E and R-426A (also known as RS-24) and the HCFC blends, R-416A 
(also known as HCFC Blend Beta or FRIGC FR12), R-406A, R-414A (also 
known as HCFC Blend Xi or GHG-X4), R-414B (also known as HCFC Blend 
Omicron), HCFC Blend Delta (also known as Free Zone), Freeze 12, GHG-
X5, and HCFC Blend Lambda (also known as GHG-HP). EPA is not aware of 
the use or development of any of these blend refrigerants in newly 
manufactured MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, or HD vans. HFC-134a is the 
refrigerant most widely used today in HD MVAC systems. All MVAC 
refrigerants are subject to use conditions requiring labeling and the 
use of unique fittings, and the two lower-GWP alternatives (HFC-152a, 
CO2) currently approved for use in HD vehicles are subject 
to additional use conditions mitigating flammability and toxicity as 
appropriate to the alternative.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \142\ HFC-152a is listed as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, for new vehicles only at 40 CFR part 82 subpart G; final 
rule published June 12, 2008 (73 FR 33304).
    \143\ CO2 is listed as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, for new vehicles only at 40 CFR part 82 subpart G; final 
rule published June 6, 2012 (77 FR 33315).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As explained more fully below, to evaluate environmental, 
flammability, and toxicity risks resulting from the use of HFO-1234yf 
in new MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans, the Agency is 
relying on EPA's analysis conducted in support of the 2011 listing 
decision for HFO-1234yf for LD

[[Page 22861]]

vehicles. In addition, we considered risk assessments performed by OEMs 
and independent consultants on the use of HFO-1234yf in LD vehicles 
through SAE Cooperative Research Programs (CRPs) and found these were 
consistent with our analysis. Based on that analysis, in 2011 EPA 
concluded that for LD vehicles HFO-1234yf did not pose significantly 
greater risk to human health and the environment than the other 
alternatives when used in accordance with use conditions established as 
part of the listing decision. The refrigerants to which HFO-1234yf was 
compared in the 2011 action for LD vehicles are the same refrigerants 
available for use in the vehicle types included in today's proposal.
    EPA is able to rely on the 2011 analysis of HFO-1234yf in LD 
vehicles in support of this proposal because the MVAC systems, vehicle 
designs, and the potential for exposure for the HD vehicle types for 
which EPA is proposing to list HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, in today's action are identical or very similar to those of 
LD vehicles. As discussed in more detail below, EPA has determined that 
the analyses conducted on HFO-1234yf in LD vehicles are sufficiently 
conservative to support today's proposal, and, in turn, that the use of 
HFO-1234yf in the MVAC systems of MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete 
HD vans does not pose greater risk to human health or the environment 
than other alternatives, when used in accordance with use conditions.
a. Environmental Impacts
    HFO-1234yf has a GWP of one to four. HFO-1234yf has a GWP similar 
to or lower than the GWP of other alternatives for the HD vehicle types 
addressed in today's proposal. For example, its GWP is significantly 
lower than that of HFC-134a, the refrigerant most widely used in these 
vehicles today, which has a GWP of 1,430. As shown in Table 16, two 
other alternatives, HFC-152a,\144\ and CO2 \145\ have GWPs 
of 1,430, 124, and one, respectively. Other acceptable refrigerants for 
the HD vehicle types addressed in today's proposal have GWPs ranging 
from 1 to 2,340.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \144\ HFC-152a is listed as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, for new vehicles only at 40 CFR part 82 subpart G; final 
rule published June 12, 2008 (73 FR 33304).
    \145\ CO2 is listed as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, for new vehicles only at 40 CFR part 82 subpart G; final 
rule published June 6, 2012 (77 FR 33315).

    Table 16--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of HFO-1234yf Compared to Other Refrigerants in MVAC Systems of Newly
                        Manufactured MDPVs, HD Pickup Trucks, and Complete HD Vans 1 2 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Refrigerants                   GWP             ODP            VOC status              Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFO-1234yf.........................             1-4               0  No..................  Acceptable, subject
                                                                                            to use conditions.
CO2, HFC-152a, HFC-134a............         1-1,430               0  No..................  No change.
IKON A, R-416A, R-426A, SP34E......        30-1,510         0-0.009  Yes \3\.............  No change.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-use.
\2\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed as acceptable but their use is severely
  restricted by the phasedown in HCFC production and consumption.
\3\ One or more constituents of the blend are VOC.

    HFO-1234yf does not deplete the ozone layer. Like HFO-1234yf, HFC-
134a, HFC-152a, CO2 and the HFC blends SP34E and R-426 Ado 
not deplete the ozone layer; however, the HCFC blends have ODPs ranging 
from 0.012 to 0.056.
    HFO-1234yf, HFC-134a, HFC-152a, and CO2 are exempt from 
the definition of VOC under CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) 
addressing the development of SIPs to attain and maintain the NAAQS. 
The HFC blends and some of the HCFC blends have one or more components 
that are VOCs.
    Another potential environmental impact of HFO-1234yf is its 
atmospheric decomposition to trifluoroacetic acid (TFA, 
CF3COOH). TFA is a strong acid that may accumulate on soil, 
on plants, and in aquatic ecosystems over time and that may have the 
potential to adversely impact plants, animals, and ecosystems.\146\ 
Simulations have found that the amount of TFA in rainfall produced from 
a transition of all mobile air conditioners in the continental United 
States to HFO-1234yf has been estimated to be double or more the values 
observed in the United States in 2009 from all sources, natural and 
artificial (i.e., HFC-134a) sources.\147\ In comparison, the amount of 
TFA produced from HFO-1234yf is expected to be higher than that of 
other fluorinated refrigerants in this end-use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \146\ Other fluorinated compounds also decompose into TFA, 
including HFC-134a.
    \147\ Luecken et al., 2009. Ozone and TFA impacts in North 
America from degradation of 2, 3, 3, 3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-
1234yf), a potential greenhouse gas replacement. Environmental 
Science & Technology 2009. The document is accessible at: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Waterland/publication/40481734_Ozone_and_TFA_impacts_in_North_America_from_degradation_of_2333-Tetrafluoropropene_(HFO-
1234yf)_a_potential_greenhouse_gas_replacement/links/
00b7d514ca9595bf5e000000.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In support of the 2011 listing decision for HFO-1234yf in LD 
vehicles, EPA analyzed potential TFA concentrations from a full 
transition to HFO-1234yf in all MVAC applications, not limited to LD 
vehicles.148 149 150 151 152 The analysis found a maximum 
projected concentration of TFA in rainwater of approximately 1,700 ng/
L. This maximum projected concentration identified in EPA's analysis, 
1700 ng/L,\153\ was roughly 34 percent higher than that projected in a 
2009 peer reviewed article.\154\ The differences in projected TFA 
concentrations in water

[[Page 22862]]

is a reflection of EPA's reliance on higher emission estimates.\155\ 
Even when relying on more conservative emission estimates, a 
concentration of 1700 ng/L corresponds to roughly 1/600th of the No-
Observed-Adverse-Effect-Level (NOAEL) for the most sensitive algae 
species, which is also well below the NOAEL for the most sensitive 
aquatic animal species.\156\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \148\ ICF, 2009a. Revised Final Draft Assessment of the 
Potential Impacts of HFO-1234yf and the Associated Production of TFA 
on Aquatic Communities and Local Air Quality.
    \149\ ICF, 2010a. Summary of HFO-1234yf Emissions Assumptions.
    \150\ ICF, 2010b. Summary of Updates to the Vintaging Model that 
Impacted HFO-1234yf Emissions Estimates.
    \151\ ICF, 2010c. Revised Assessment of the Potential Impacts of 
HFO-1234yf and the Associated Production of TFA on Aquatic 
Communities, Soil and Plants, and Local Air Quality.
    \152\ ICF, 2010d. Sensitivity Analysis CMAQ results on projected 
maximum TFA rainwater concentrations and maximum 8-hr ozone 
concentrations.
    \153\ ICF, 2010d. Sensitivity Analysis CMAQ results on projected 
maximum TFA rainwater concentrations and maximum 8-hr ozone 
concentrations.
    \154\ Luecken et al., 2009. Ozone and TFA impacts in North 
America from degradation of 2, 3, 3, 3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-
1234yf), a potential greenhouse gas replacement. Environmental 
Science & Technology 2009. The document is accessible at: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Waterland/publication/40481734_Ozone_and_TFA_impacts_in_North_America_from_degradation_of_2333-Tetrafluoropropene_(HFO-
1234yf)_a_potential_greenhouse_gas_replacement/links/
00b7d514ca9595bf5e000000.pdf.
    \155\ ICF, 2010d. Sensitivity Analysis CMAQ results on projected 
maximum TFA rainwater concentrations and maximum 8-hr ozone 
concentrations.
    \156\ ICF, 2009a. Revised Final Draft Assessment of the 
Potential Impacts of HFO-1234yf and the Associated Production of TFA 
on Aquatic Communities and Local Air Quality.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since the 2011 final rule listing HFO-1234yf as acceptable for LD 
vehicles, additional research on TFA has been conducted. The UNEP Ozone 
Secretariat provided a summary of key information pertaining to TFA 
based on the 2014 Assessment Reports of the Environmental Effects 
Assessment Panel (EEAP) and the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) of 
the Montreal Protocol. The brief states, ``While it is well established 
that TFA is a ubiquitous natural component in rivers, lakes, and other 
surface water bodies, uncertainties remain regarding anthropogenic 
sources, long-term fate and abundances as these are linked to current 
and future use and emissions of HFCs, HCFCs, and HFOs. Based on 
estimates to 2040, increases are predicted to remain relatively low and 
are therefore not expected to be a significant risk to human health or 
detrimental to the environment. Projected future increased loadings of 
TFA to playas, land-locked lakes, and the oceans due to continued use 
of HCFCs, HFCs, and replacement products such as HFOs are still judged 
to present negligible risks for aquatic organisms and humans.'' The 
UNEP background document also states that TFA and its salts ``do not 
bioconcentrate in aquatic organisms, and do not biomagnify in the food 
chain. Thus they present negligible risk to organisms higher on the 
food chain, including humans.''
    A 2014 study by Kazil, et al.\157\ analyzed TFA deposition in the 
United States assuming 100 percent of all MVAC systems use HFO-1234yf. 
The results indicated that rainwater TFA concentrations, while varying 
strongly geographically, will on average be low compared to the levels 
at which toxic effects are observed in aquatic systems. The additional 
information available since our 2011 listing decision shows no greater 
risk than our earlier analysis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \157\ Kazil et al., 2014. Deposition and rainwater 
concentrations of trifluoroacetic acid in the United States from the 
use of HFO-1234yf. JGR-Atmospheres, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Taking into consideration the analysis conducted in support of the 
2011 listing decision, which was based on conservative emissions 
assumptions and a transition from HFC-134a to HFO-1234yf for all MVAC 
systems (not limited to LD vehicles), and the research that has been 
conducted since, EPA concludes that the use of HFO-1234yf in the HD 
vehicle types addressed in this action will not pose a significant risk 
to the environment from atmospheric decomposition to TFA.
    Based on the consideration of all of these environmental impacts, 
EPA concludes that HFO-1234yf does not pose significantly greater risk 
to the environment than the other alternatives for use in newly 
manufactured MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans, and it 
poses significantly less risk than several of the alternatives with 
high-GWPs and ODPs.
b. Flammability
    HFO-1234yf is a flammable refrigerant classified as A2L under 
ASHRAE 34-2013. HFC-134a and CO2 are nonflammable 
refrigerants, while HFC-152a is slightly more flammable than HFO-1234yf 
with an ASHRAE classification of A2.
    To evaluate human health and safety impacts, including flammability 
risks, of the use of HFO-1234yf in MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and 
complete HD vans, the Agency is relying on EPA's analysis conducted in 
support of the 2011 listing decision for HFO-1234yf for LD vehicles and 
information submitted during the public comment period of the proposal 
for the 2011 final decision (October 19, 2009; 74 FR 53445), including 
the SAE CRP risk assessments. With regards to occupational exposure, 
EPA's risk screen on the use of HFO-1234yf in LD vehicles evaluated 
flammability risks (e.g., potential for a fire from release and 
ignition) in workplace situations, such as during equipment manufacture 
and disposal or recycling of vehicle end-of-life. Modeling of 
concentrations of HFO-1234yf in the workplace scenarios found short-
term, 15-minute concentrations of 28 ppm or less--far below the lower 
LFL of 6.2 percent by volume (62,000 ppm).\158\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \158\ ICF, 2008. Air-Conditioning Refrigerant Charge Size to 
Passenger Compartment Volume Ratio Analysis. Confidential Memorandum 
Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The SAE CRP's risk assessments also evaluated flammability risks to 
technicians. The SAE CRP conducted Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) 
modeling of exposure levels in case of a leak in a system in a service 
shop. The SAE CRP found that a leaked concentration of HFO-1234yf could 
exceed the LFL of 6.2%, but only within ten centimeters or less of the 
leak. The SAE CRP risk assessment concluded that the risk of this 
occupational exposure scenario is ``inconsequential'' because ignition 
sources would not be located within ten centimeters of the MVAC system 
given technicians' familiarity with precautions necessary to avoid 
flammability risks due to the presence of other flammable materials in 
the engine compartment.\159\ EPA notes that HFO-1234yf is less 
flammable and results in a less energetic flame than a number of fluids 
that motor vehicle service technicians and recyclers or disposers deal 
with on a regular basis, such as oil, anti-freeze, transmission fluid, 
and gasoline. The results of the CRP indicate that HFO-1234yf does not 
pose a greater risk in occupational settings than nonflammable 
alternatives, or HFC-152a, which is more flammable than HFO-1234yf and 
already approved for use in the HD vehicle types being addressed in 
this action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \159\ SAE, 2013. SAE International Cooperative Research Project 
CRP1234-4 on R-1234yf Safety, Finishes Work and Presents 
Conclusions. This document is accessible at: http://www.sae.org/servlets/pressRoom?OBJECT_TYPE=PressReleases&PAGE=showRelease&RELEASE_ID=2146.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regarding the flammability risks of HF-1234yf to passengers inside 
a LD vehicle, in support of the 2011 listing decision, EPA determined 
the following (76 FR 17490; March 29, 2011):

    Depending on the charge size of an HFO-1234yf MVAC system, which 
may range from as little as 400 grams to as much as 1600 grams,\160\ 
it is possible in a worst case scenario to reach a flammable 
concentration of HFO-1234yf inside the passenger compartment. This 
could occur in the case of a collision that ruptures the evaporator 
in the absence of a switch or other engineering mitigation device to 
prevent flow of high concentrations of the refrigerant into the 
passenger compartment, provided that the windows and windshield 
remain intact. As stated in the SAE CRP, ignition of the refrigerant 
once in the passenger cabin is unlikely (probability on the order of 
10-14 occurrences per operating hour) because the only 
causes of ignition within the passenger cabin with sufficient energy 
to ignite the refrigerant would be use of a butane lighter (EPA-OAR-
2008-0664-0056.2). If a passenger were in a collision, or in an 
emergency situation, it is unlikely that they would choose to 
operate a butane lighter in the passenger cabin. Additionally, it is 
unlikely ignition would occur from a flame from another part of the 
vehicle because

[[Page 22863]]

automobiles are constructed to seal off the passenger compartment 
with a firewall. If a collision breached the passenger compartment 
such that a flame from another part of the vehicle could reach it, 
that breach would also create ventilation that would lower the 
refrigerant concentration below the lower flammability limit. 
Similarly, if either a window or the windshield were broken in the 
collision, the ventilation created would lower the refrigerant 
concentration below the lower flammability limit. Therefore, EPA 
finds that flammability risks of HFO-1234yf to passengers inside a 
vehicle will be low. Further, these risks are likely to be less than 
those from HFC-152a, another flammable refrigerant that EPA has 
previously found acceptable subject to use conditions, because HFC-
152a has a lower LFL and a lower minimum ignition energy than HFO-
1234yf (EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0008, -0013.4, -0056.2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \160\ ICF, 2008. Air-Conditioning Refrigerant Charge Size to 
Passenger Compartment Volume Ratio Analysis. Confidential Memorandum 
Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2008.

    Since that time additional analysis has been conducted under more 
recent SAE CRPs.
    The fourth and most recent SAE CRP, SAE CRP1234-4, was established 
in October 2012 in response to a press release issued by the German OEM 
Daimler ``suggesting that new testing conducted by the company had 
shown R-1234yf to pose greater risk of vehicle fire than was estimated 
by the prior CRP1234 analysis.'' The final report for SAE CRP1234-4 was 
released on July 24, 2013, and concluded that the ``refrigerant release 
testing completed by Daimler was unrealistic.'' And, ``their testing 
created extreme conditions that favored ignition while ignoring many 
mitigating factors that would be present in an actual real-world 
collision.'' \161\ The OEM members of CRP1234-4 included FCA, Ford, 
General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, PSA, Renault, 
and Toyota.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \161\ Gradient, 2013. Executive Summary for Additional Risk 
Assessment of Alternative Refrigerant R-1234yf, Prepared by Gradient 
for SAE International CRP-1234-4. July 24, 2013. Available online 
at: http://www.sae.org/standardsdev/tsb/cooperative/executivesummary.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To fully assess the newly raised concerns, CRP1234-4 completed two 
new fault tree scenarios as refinements to the original fault tree 
analysis (FTA). ``The two new fault tree scenarios consider the 
possibility of an individual being unable to exit the vehicle due to a 
collision or a non-collision event that involves a refrigerant/oil 
release, the refrigerant/oil being ignited and the fire propagating. 
The FTA examined average risks across the entire global fleet of light-
duty vehicles and used a number of conservative assumptions to ensure 
that the final risk estimate would be more likely to overestimate 
rather than underestimate actual risks.'' SAE CRP1234-4 concluded that:

    Based on the updated analysis, the estimated overall risk of 
vehicle fire exposure attributed to use of R-1234yf is 
conservatively estimated at 3 x 10-12 events per vehicle 
operating hour. This is nearly six orders of magnitude less than the 
current risk of vehicle fires due to all causes (approximately 1 x 
10-6 per vehicle operating hour) and also well below 
other risks accepted by the general public. The current overall risk 
of occupant exposure to adverse events based on R-1234yf usage is on 
the same order of magnitude as that estimated in the prior work of 
CRP1234. Therefore, the conclusions of the former CRP risk 
assessment are still valid: Risks are still very small compared to 
the risks of a vehicle fire from all causes and well below risks 
that are commonly viewed as acceptable by the general public.\162\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \162\ Gradient, 2013. Executive Summary for Additional Risk 
Assessment of Alternative Refrigerant R-1234yf, Prepared by Gradient 
for SAE International CRP-1234-4. July 24, 2013. Available online 
at: http://www.sae.org/standardsdev/tsb/cooperative/executivesummary.pdf.

    The findings of CRP1234-4 provide additional support for the 
conclusions of prior CRPs, and the EPA's analysis for its 2011 rule 
listing HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for use in 
LD vehicles. These findings in conjunction with EPA's earlier 
evaluation for LD vehicles support this proposal to list HFO-1234yf as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, for the identified HD vehicle 
types.
    To determine the appropriateness of relying on the conclusions of 
the extensive risk assessments conducted on flammability risks to 
passengers from HFO-1234yf in LD vehicles to support today's proposed 
SNAP listing of the same alternative in MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and 
complete HD vans, we conducted an analysis of refrigerant charge size 
as compared to vehicle cabin size.\163\ Specifically, we evaluated 
whether the charge size and vehicle cabin size used for the worst case 
scenario for LD vehicles would be sufficiently conservative to also 
represent a worst case scenario for the HD vehicle types addressed in 
this proposal. EPA analyzed the charge to vehicle cabin size ratios for 
38 vehicle models of MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and HD vans and found 
that the highest ratio of charge size to compartment area, which 
represents the most conservative exposure scenario (smallest passenger 
compartment with largest refrigerant charge), for the types of HD 
vehicles included in this proposal, is 410 g/m\3\. This ratio is 
significantly lower than the highest ratio identified for LD vehicles, 
641 g/m\3\, which was identified as the most conservative value and 
used to conduct the risk screen supporting for LD listing.\164\ Thus, 
the assessment used for the LD vehicles is sufficiently conservative to 
also represent a worst case scenario for the HD vehicle types subject 
to this proposal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \163\ ICF, 2016i. Technical Support Document for Acceptability 
Listing of HFO-1234yf for Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning in Limited 
Heavy-Duty Applications.
    \164\ ICF, 2008. Air-Conditioning Refrigerant Charge Size to 
Passenger Compartment Volume Ratio Analysis. Confidential Memorandum 
Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2008.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA considered the results of our examination of the ratio of 
charge size to compartment area and our understanding of these vehicle 
types and their MVAC systems being very similar to LD vehicles in 
determining it was appropriate to rely on the currently available 
analyses on light-duty vehicles. In addition, EPA has considered the 
characteristics of MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and HD vans that could be 
different from LD vehicles, such as differences in the engine 
compartment size, passenger cabins, and operating conditions, and how 
those might impact EPA's reliance on the LD analyses. CRP1234-4 
considered the temperature and condition of a hot surface that would be 
necessary to ignite HFO-1234yf released into the engine compartment as 
part of the FTA. The risk assessment conservatively analyzed a 
refrigerant and oil mixture contacting a hot surface, at or above 700 
degrees Fahrenheit, in a stagnant zone condition such as might occur if 
the hot surface were covered with a heat shield with limited 
ventilation. EPA considered whether the engine temperatures and 
configurations of MDPVs, and HD pickup trucks and vans would reach 
higher temperatures (above 700 degrees) more regularly due to workload 
and towing capabilities, and if this would increase the likelihood of a 
fire under the hood of the vehicle. EPA does not believe this is the 
case. Despite their use as occupational vehicles and their towing 
capabilities, EPA does not expect any engine compartment surfaces to 
reach temperatures above those conservatively assumed for LD vehicles. 
The engine materials in these vehicles are the same as their LD 
counterparts, or in some cases a different material may be used to 
ensure consistent operating conditions. Also, in many cases the engine 
compartments for these vehicle types are larger than a LD engine 
compartment, allowing for additional space between hot parts and 
refrigeration lines, as well as increased airflow in the engine, 
decreasing the likelihood that refrigerant would be released onto a hot 
surface and that

[[Page 22864]]

contact, if it occurs, would occur in a stagnant zone condition.
    EPA also considered whether the MVAC systems in diesel vehicles 
require additional analysis, since only gasoline vehicles have been 
used in the existing risk assessments. Unlike the LD fleet, where few 
vehicles have diesel engines, about half of HD pickup trucks and vans 
use diesel engines (July 13, 2015; 80 FR 40137). Based on EPA's 
understanding that MVAC systems and passenger compartments will be the 
same in gasoline and diesel engines, and surface temperatures within a 
diesel engine are typically lower than those in a gasoline vehicle 
because of the lean combustion and more complete utilization of thermal 
energy inherent to diesel engines, EPA has determined that additional 
analysis on vehicles with diesel engines is not necessary.
    For these reasons, EPA concludes that the currently available 
assessments on the use of HFO-1234yf in LD vehicles are sufficiently 
conservative to account for all possible flammability risks from the 
use of HFO-1234yf in MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans. 
Relying on the same analysis considered in support of the 2011 SNAP 
listing of HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for 
MVAC in new LD vehicles, verifying that more recent information is 
consistent with that analysis, and considering unique factors for these 
vehicle types, EPA concludes that the use of HFO-1234yf in new MVAC 
systems for MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans does not pose 
greater flammability risk than the other alternatives when used in 
accordance with the proposed use conditions.
c. Toxicity
    To evaluate human health and safety impacts, including toxicity 
risks, from the use of HFO-1234yf in MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and 
complete HD vans, the Agency is relying on EPA's analysis conducted in 
support of the 2011 listing decision for HFO-1234yf for LD vehicles and 
information submitted during the public comment period of the proposal 
(October 19, 2009; 74 FR 53445) for the 2011 final decision, including 
the SAE CRP risk assessments.
    In our analysis supporting the 2011 final decision, EPA compared 
worker exposures to a workplace exposure limit of 250 ppm \165\ over an 
8-hour time-weighted average for long-term occupational exposure to 
HFO-1234yf, For short-term occupational exposure to HFO-1234yf, we 
compared worker exposure to an acute exposure limit of 98,211 ppm, 
divided by a margin of exposure of 30, for a value of 3,270 ppm over 30 
minutes.166 167
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \165\ This was based on a NOAEL of 4000 ppm from the study, ``An 
Inhalation Prenatal Developmental Toxicity Study of HFO-1234yf 
(2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene) in Rabbits,'' EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-
0041. We used a factor of 1.9 to account for differences in blood 
concentrations between animals and humans, and a margin of exposure 
or collective uncertainty factor of 30. Uncertainty factors of 3 
were assigned for animal to human extrapolation, and 10 for 
variability within the human population. The long-term workplace 
exposure limit was calculated as follows: 4000 ppm (animal exposure) 
x 1.9 (ratio of estimated human exposure/animal exposure) x 1/3 (UF 
for animal to human extrapolation) x 1/10 (UF for variability within 
the human population) exposure) = 250 ppm. This value was compared 
against 8-hour average concentrations. See EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0036 
and EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0038.
    \166\ This was based on a NOAEL of 51,690 ppm from the study, 
``Sub-acute (2-week) Inhalation Toxicity Study with HFO-1234yf in 
rats,'' EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0020 through-0020.4, a factor of 1.9 to 
account for differences in blood concentrations between animals and 
humans and a margin of exposure or collective uncertainty factor of 
30. Uncertainty factors of 3 were assigned for animal to human 
extrapolation, and 10 for variability within the human population. 
The short-term workplace exposure value was calculated as follows: 
51,690 ppm (animal exposure) x 1.9 (ratio of estimated human 
exposure/animal exposure) = 98,211 ppm This value was then divided 
by the expected exposure in each scenario, and compared against the 
target margin of exposure of 30. See EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0036 and 
EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0038.
    \167\ For comparison, the SAE CRP used exposure limits of 500 
ppm over 8 hours and 115,000 ppm over 30 minutes to evaluate risks 
for these same time periods. These are based on the 8-hr Workplace 
Environmental Exposure Limit (WEEL) for HFO-1234yf and for short-
term exposure, assuming a NOAEL of approximately 405,800 ppm from 
the study, ``Acute (4-hour) inhalation toxicity study with HFO-
1234yf in rats.'' Note that EPA disagrees with the finding that the 
acute inhalation toxicity study found a NOAEL. We consider this 
study to show adverse effects at all levels because of the presence 
of grey discoloration in the lungs of the test animals. In order to 
ensure sufficient protection, EPA's risk assessment used a NOAEL 
from a subacute study instead of a LOAEL from an acute study.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Concerning workplace exposure, we expect that professional 
technicians have proper training and certification and have the proper 
equipment and knowledge to minimize their risks due to exposure to 
refrigerant from an MVAC system. Thus, worker exposure to HFO-1234yf is 
expected to be low. If workers service MVAC systems using certified 
refrigerant recovery equipment after receiving training and testing, 
exposure levels to HFO-1234yf are estimated to be on the order of 4 to 
8.5 ppm on an 8-hour time-weighted average (as compared with a 250 ppm 
workplace exposure limit) \168\ and 122 ppm on a 30-minute average (as 
compared with a short-term exposure level of 98,211 ppm divided by a 
[margin of exposure of 30, for a value of 3270 ppm over 30 minutes 
169 170).171 172 We also analyzed exposure levels 
during manufacture and final disposition at vehicle end-of-life, and 
found that they would be no higher than 28 ppm on a 15-minute average 
or 8.5 ppm on an 8-hour time-weighted average.\173\ The manufacture, 
use, and disposal or recycling of HFO-1234yf MVAC systems are not 
expected to present a toxicity risk to workers. Other alternatives such 
as HFC-134a and HFC-152a also do not present a toxicity risk to workers 
in the same scenarios; therefore, HFO-1234yf poses the same or less 
risk than other alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \168\ This was based on a NOAEL of 4000 ppm from the study, ``An 
Inhalation Prenatal Developmental Toxicity Study of HFO-1234yf 
(2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene) in Rabbits,'' EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-
0041. We used a factor of 1.9 to account for differences in blood 
concentrations between animals and humans, and a margin of exposure 
or collective uncertainty factor of 30. Uncertainty factors of 3 
were assigned for animal to human extrapolation, and 10 for 
variability within the human population. The long-term workplace 
exposure limit was calculated as follows: 4000 ppm (animal exposure) 
x 1.9 (ratio of estimated human exposure/animal exposure) x 1/3 (UF 
for animal to human extrapolation) x 1/10 (UF for variability within 
the human population) exposure) = 250 ppm. This value was compared 
against 8-hour average concentrations. See EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0036 
and EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0038.
    \169\ This was based on a NOAEL of 51,690 ppm from the study, 
``Sub-acute (2-week) Inhalation Toxicity Study with HFO-1234yf in 
rats,'' EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0020 through-0020.4, a factor of 1.9 to 
account for differences in blood concentrations between animals and 
humans and a margin of exposure or collective uncertainty factor of 
30. Uncertainty factors of 3 were assigned for animal to human 
extrapolation, and 10 for variability within the human population. 
The short-term workplace exposure value was calculated as follows: 
51,690 ppm (animal exposure) x 1.9 (ratio of estimated human 
exposure/animal exposure) = 98,211 ppm. This value was then divided 
by the expected exposure in each scenario, and compared against the 
target margin of exposure of 30. See EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0036 and 
EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0038.
    \170\ For comparison, the SAE CRP used exposure limits of 500 
ppm over 8 hours and 115,000 ppm over 30 minutes to evaluate risks 
for these same time periods. These are based on the 8-hr Workplace 
Environmental Exposure Limit (WEEL) for HFO-1234yf and for short-
term exposure, assuming a NOAEL of approximately 405,800 ppm from 
the study, ``Acute (4-hour) inhalation toxicity study with HFO-
1234yf in rats.'' Note that EPA disagrees with the finding that the 
acute inhalation toxicity study found a NOAEL. We consider this 
study to show adverse effects at all levels because of the presence 
of grey discoloration in the lungs of the test animals. In order to 
ensure sufficient protection, EPA's risk assessment used a NOAEL 
from a subacute study instead of a LOAEL from an acute study.
    \171\ EPA, 2009b. Risk Assessment: PMN 07-0601. Available at: 
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-
0036.
    \172\ ICF International, 2009b. Risk Screen on Substitutes for 
CFC-12 in Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning: Substitute: HFO-1234yf. 
Available online at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0038.
    \173\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA's review of consumer risks from toxicity of HFO-1234yf 
indicated that

[[Page 22865]]

potential consumer (passenger) exposure from a refrigerant leak into 
the passenger compartment of a vehicle is not expected to present an 
unreasonable risk. The consumer risks due to exposure to HFC-152a and 
HFC-134a are comparable to those of HFO-1234yf, with exposure levels 
expected to be below relevant exposure limits such as their cardiotoxic 
NOAELs. The consumer toxicity risks due to CO2 are mitigated 
by the use conditions for that refrigerant, resulting in comparable 
risks to other alternatives.
    In addition to analyzing exposure to the refrigerant, EPA and the 
SAE CRPs have also considered risks of generating hydrogen fluoride 
(HF) from combustion of HFO-1234yf. With regards to consumer risks from 
the use of HFO-1234yf in MVAC systems, we have considered information 
concerning consumer exposure to HF from thermal decomposition or 
combustion of HFO-1234yf. The 2009 CRP risk assessments analyzed 
potential concentrations of HFO-1234yf, from a leak inside the 
passenger compartment, and HF, from thermal decomposition or ignition, 
in the passenger compartment. SAE CRP members conducted testing to 
measure HF concentrations and to identify factors that were most likely 
to lead to HF formation.\174\ One test on HF concentrations inside a 
car cabin found maximum concentrations were in the range of zero to 35 
ppm in trials both with HFO-1234yf and with HFC-134a, with 
concentrations dropping to 10 ppm or less after 10 minutes. In a second 
test of HF generated in the engine compartment, HF concentrations from 
thermal decomposition of HFO-1234yf reached as high as 120 ppm in the 
engine compartment in the worst case, with interior passenger cabin 
values of 40 to 80 ppm. Under the same extreme conditions (flash 
ignition, temperature of 700 [deg]C, closed hood), HF concentrations 
from thermal decomposition of HFC-134a reached 36.1 ppm in the engine 
compartment with interior passenger cabin values of two to eight ppm. 
The other trials with less extreme conditions found HF concentrations 
from HFO-1234yf in the engine compartment of zero to 8 ppm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \174\ http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-
2008-0664-0056.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The SAE CRP selected an Acute Exposure Guideline Limit (AEGL)-2 of 
95 ppm over 10 minutes as its criterion for determining toxicity risk 
from HF.\175\ Thus, even assuming levels inside a passenger compartment 
reached the highest level that occurred during the tests--80 ppm--a 
passenger inside a vehicle would at worst experience discomfort and 
irritation, rather than any permanent effects. HF levels that could 
result in similar effects were also observed for HFC-134a. The SAE CRP 
concluded that the probability of such a worst-case event is on the 
order of 10-\12\ occurrences per operating 
hour.176 177 This level of risk is similar to the current 
level of risk of HF generated from HFC-134a.\178\ To date, EPA is 
unaware of any reports of consumers affected by HF generated by HFC-
134a, which has been used in automobile MVAC systems across the 
industry since 1993. Therefore, EPA concludes that when used in 
accordance with use conditions, HFO-1234yf does not pose greater risk 
overall to human health and the environment than other alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \175\ The AEGL-2 is defined as ``the airborne concentration of a 
substance . . . above which it is predicted that the general 
population, including susceptible individuals could experience 
irreversible or other serious, long lasting adverse effects or an 
impaired ability to escape.'' http://www.epa.gov/oppt/aegl/pubs/define.htm.
    \176\ If we assume 250 million passenger vehicles in the U.S. 
and typical driving times of 500 hours per year per vehicle, a risk 
of 4.6 x 10-\12\ per operating hour equates roughly to 
one event every 2 years for all drivers in the entire United States.
    \177\ Regulations.gov, EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0056.2.
    \178\ Regulations.gov, EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0086.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SAE CRP1234-4 considered the need to reevaluate HF exposure due to 
decomposition or ignition of HFO-1234yf and determined it was 
unnecessary. This decision considered that: The risks of HF evaluated 
in the earlier CRP were not significantly different from the risks of 
HF generation during use of HFC-134a; a presentation from the German 
automobile manufacturing industry group VDA found that thermal 
decomposition would not lead to significant amounts of HF and confirmed 
that there is not expected to be additional risk due to HF from HFO-
1234yf compared to HFC-134a. In addition, the CRP1234-4 considered new 
scenarios where an individual might not be able to leave a car; 
however, it is expected that because HF is irritating, individuals will 
leave the area unless they are unable to do so. The CRP1234-4 also 
considered that mitigating factors specific to HF, such as convection 
of HF away from the vehicle due to the heat of a fire, mean that the 
factors already analyzed were likely to be very conservative. Finally, 
the CRP1234-4 was aware of studies conducted by the CRP for a 
refrigerant blend, referred to as ``CRP MRB,'' that found HF from HFO-
1234yf along the side of a vehicle never exceeded the health-based HF 
limit of 95 ppm, even in the case of fire. This additional information 
confirms that the consumer risks from generation of HF are no greater 
than in EPA's 2011 evaluation. Further, risks of generation of HF are 
comparable to those from HFC-134a, and likely also from HFC-152a. 
CO2 contains no fluorine, and thus, there are no risks due 
to HF generation.
    EPA did not analyze toxicity concerns from the generation of HF in 
the workplace. In its December 17, 2009, Risk Assessment for 
Alternative Refrigerants HFO-1234yf and R-744 (CO2), the SAE 
CRP indicated that ``service technicians will be knowledgeable about 
the potential for HF generation and will immediately move away from the 
area when they perceive the irritancy of HF prior to being exposed 
above a health-based limit'' (EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0056.2). Because the 
potential to form HF from HFO-1234yf is similar to that from other MVAC 
refrigerants and because service technicians, recyclers, and disposers 
have historically handled refrigerants with the same concern, including 
HFC-134a which is the most commonly used refrigerant, EPA concludes 
that HFO-1234yf does not pose greater risk in the workplace with regard 
to HF generation than other available or potentially alternatives.
4. What are the proposed use conditions?
    All MVAC refrigerants listed as acceptable are subject to use 
conditions requiring labeling and the use of unique fittings. HFC-152a 
and CO2 are subject to additional use conditions mitigating 
flammability and toxicity as appropriate to the alternative. None of 
these alternative refrigerants can simply be ``dropped'' into existing 
HFC-134a AC systems because they are listed as acceptable only for 
newly manufactured vehicles.
    EPA is proposing to list HFO-1234yf acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, because the use conditions are necessary to ensure that use 
of HFO-1234yf will not have a significantly greater overall impact on 
human health and the environment than other alternatives for use in 
MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans. EPA is proposing to 
require the same use conditions for HFO-1234yf in the HD vehicle types 
included in today's proposal that are currently required for the use of 
HFO-1234yf in newly manufactured LD vehicles. Because of the 
similarities in the MVAC systems used for these vehicles, these use 
conditions will be sufficiently protective to ensure use of HFO-1234yf

[[Page 22866]]

in MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans does not pose 
significantly greater risk than use of other alternatives.
    The first use condition requires that MVAC systems designed to use 
HFO-1234yf must meet the requirements of SAE J639, ``Safety Standards 
for Motor Vehicle Refrigerant Vapor Compression Systems.'' This 
standard sets safety standards that include unique fittings; a warning 
label indicating the refrigerant's identity and that it is a flammable 
refrigerant; and requirements for engineering design strategies that 
include a high-pressure compressor cutoff switch and pressure relief 
devices. This use condition also requires that for connections with 
refrigerant containers for use in professional servicing, use fittings 
must be consistent with SAE J2844 (revised October 2011). SAE J639 
(2011 version) which specifies quick-connect fittings that are 
different from those for any other refrigerant. The low-side service 
port and connections will have an outside diameter of 14 mm (0.551 
inches) and the high-side service port will have an outside diameter of 
17 mm (0.669 inches), both accurate to within 2 mm. Under SAE J2844 
(revised October 2011), containers of HFO-1234yf for use in 
professional servicing of MVAC systems must have a left-handed screw 
valve with a diameter of 0.5 inches and Acme (trapezoidal) thread with 
16 threads per inch. The SAE standards do not include and EPA has not 
received a submission for unique fittings for small containers of HFO-
1234yf refrigerant.
    Consistent with the conclusion EPA drew at the time of the EPA's 
listing decision for HFO-1234yf in LD vehicles relied, EPA believes 
that the safety requirements that are included in SAE J639 sufficiently 
mitigate risks of both HF generation and refrigerant ignition (March 
29, 2011; 76 FR 17488) for MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD 
vans subject to this proposed action. HFO-1234yf is mildly flammable 
(2L classification) and, like other fluorinated refrigerants, can 
decompose to form the toxic compound HF when exposed to flame or to 
sufficient heat. The SAE J639 standard can also address flammability 
and HF risks of HFO-1234yf for MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD 
vans. For example, SAE J639 provides for a pressure relief device 
designed to minimize direct impingement of the refrigerant and oil on 
hot surfaces and for design of the refrigerant circuit and connections 
to avoid refrigerant entering the passenger cabin. The pressure release 
device ensures that pressure in the system will not reach an unsafe 
level that might cause an uncontrolled leak of refrigerant, such as if 
the AC system is overcharged. The pressure release device will reduce 
the likelihood that refrigerant leaks would reach hot surfaces that 
might lead to either ignition or formation of HF. Designing the 
refrigerant circuit and connections to avoid refrigerant entering the 
passenger cabin ensures that if there is a leak, the refrigerant is 
unlikely to enter the passenger cabin. Keeping refrigerant out of the 
passenger cabin minimizes the possibility that there would be 
sufficient levels of refrigerant to reach flammable concentrations or 
that HF would be formed and transported where passengers might be 
exposed.
    The second use condition requires the manufacturer of MVAC systems 
and vehicles to conduct Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) as 
provided in SAE J1739 (adopted 2009) and keep records of the FMEA on 
file for three years from the date of creation. SAE J1739 (adopted 
2009) describes a FMEA as ``a systematic group of activities intended 
to: (a) Recognize and evaluate the potential failure of a product/
process and the effects and causes of that failure, (b) identify 
actions that could eliminate or reduce the change of the potential 
failure occurring, and (c) document the process.'' Through the FMEA, 
OEMs determine the appropriate protective strategies necessary to 
ensure the safe use of HFO-1234yf across their vehicle fleet. It is 
standard industry practice to perform the FMEA and to keep it on file 
while the vehicle is in production and for several years afterwards. As 
with the previous use condition, this use condition is intended to 
ensure that new MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans 
manufactured with HFO-1234yf MVAC systems are specifically designed to 
minimize release of the refrigerant into the passenger cabin or onto 
hot surfaces that might result in ignition or in generation of HF.
5. When would the listing apply?
    EPA proposes that this listing would apply 30 days after the date 
of publication of a final rule. This date, the same as the proposed 
effective date of this regulation, allows for the safe use of this 
substitute at the earliest opportunity.
6. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
a. CAA Sections 608 and 609
    CAA section 609 establishes standards and requirements regarding 
servicing of MVAC systems. Under section 609, no person repairing or 
servicing motor vehicles for consideration \179\ may perform any 
service on an MVAC that involves the refrigerant without properly using 
approved refrigerant recovery or recovery and recycling equipment and 
no such person may perform such service unless such person has been 
properly trained and certified. Refrigerant handling equipment must be 
certified by EPA or an independent organization approved by EPA. EPA 
has issued regulations interpreting this statutory requirement and 
those regulations are codified at subpart B of 40 CFR part 82. The 
statutory and regulatory provisions regarding MVAC servicing apply to 
all refrigerant alternatives and application is not limited to ozone-
depleting refrigerants. Today's proposal will not have a direct impact 
on EPA's regulations under section 609.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \179\ Service for consideration means receiving something of 
worth or value to perform service, whether in money, credit, goods, 
or services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 608 of the CAA prohibits the intentional release (venting) 
of all refrigerants except those specifically exempted; because HFO-
1234yf is not exempt, intentional release from MVAC systems of MDVPs, 
HD pickup trucks, and HD vans addressed in this action would be 
prohibited if the decision to list HFO-1234yf as acceptable subject to 
use conditions is finalized. MVAC end-of-life disposal and recycling 
specifications are also covered under section 608 of the CAA and our 
regulations issued under that section of the Act, which are codified at 
subpart F of 40 CFR part 82.
b. Would this action listing HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, for MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and complete HD vans affect 
EPA's LD GHG standards?
    Today's proposal to list HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, if finalized, will have no direct effect on the MY 2017-
2025 light-duty vehicle GHG standards since today's proposed action 
applies to HD vehicles, not light duty. We raise the issue here, 
however, because today's proposed action would apply to MPDVs. As noted 
above in section V.B.1.a., although MDPVs are classified as HD vehicles 
based on their GVWR, due to their similarities to LD vehicles, GHG 
emissions from MDPVs are regulated under the LD GHG and fuel economy 
standards, and they are excluded from the HD GHG and fuel economy 
standards.\180\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \180\ 40 CFR 1037.5(c).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 22867]]

    Nonetheless, this proposed action would have no direct effect on 
the regulations on MDPVs established under the LD GHG standards. Those 
standards are established by rule and EPA is not reopening that rule in 
this action. We do note, however, that today's proposal is relevant to 
one of the compliance flexibilities in that rule. As part of the MY 
2017-2025 LD GHG rule,\181\ EPA established the availability of credits 
for the use of alternative refrigerants with lower GWPs than that of 
HFC-134a. If EPA lists HFO-1234yf as acceptable for MDPVs under SNAP, 
as proposed, vehicle manufacturers will be able to obtain credits for 
the use of HFO-1234yf in these vehicles as allowed for in the MY 2017-
2025 LD GHG rule. The LD GHG standards do not require any specific 
means of compliance, so manufacturers have the flexibility to either 
switch refrigerants or to comply with the standards by other 
means.\182\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \181\ 77 FR 62624, 62807-810 (October 15, 2012); see also 75 FR 
25325, 25431-32 (May 7, 2010) (discussing the same issue for MY 
2012-2016 light-duty vehicles).
    \182\ 77 FR 62804-809.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Would this action listing HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, for certain HD vehicles affect EPA's HD GHG standards?
    The Phase 1 HD GHG rules divided the industry into three discrete 
categories--combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and 
vocational vehicles. The Phase 1 rules also set separate standards for 
engines that power vocational vehicles and combination tractors--based 
on the relative degree of homogeneity among vehicles within each 
category (76 FR 57106; September 15, 2011). On July 13, 2015, EPA and 
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed 
Phase 2 HD GHG standards that would build on existing Phase 1 HD GHG 
standards, and also proposed GHG standards for certain trailers used in 
combination with HD tractors (80 FR 40137; July 12, 2015). Today's 
proposal, should EPA adopt it, will have no direct effect on the HD GHG 
standards, either for Phase 1 or the proposed Phase 2.
    As part of today's action, EPA is proposing to list HFO-1234yf as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, for MDPVs, HD pickup trucks, and 
complete HD vans. HD pickup trucks and vans are one of the categories 
of HD vehicles regulated under the Phase 1 HD GHG standards, and 
proposed to be further regulated under the Phase 2 program. As part of 
the Phase 1 HD GHG standards, EPA finalized a low leakage requirement 
of 1.50 percent leakage per year for AC systems installed in HD trucks 
and vans and combination tractors for model years 2014 and later. EPA 
finalized a standard of 1.50 percent leakage per year for heavy-duty 
pickup trucks and vans and combination tractors. See section II.E.5 of 
Phase 1 HD GHG standard preamble (76 FR 57194-57195) for further 
discussion of the MVAC leakage standard.
    As part of the NPRM for Phase 2 of the HD GHG standards (80 FR 
40343; July 12, 2015), EPA proposed regulatory provisions that would be 
in place if and when lower-GWP alternative refrigerants are approved 
and adopted by manufacturers of HD vehicles. EPA proposed to adopt the 
same MVAC leakage standard for vocational vehicles as apply for pickups 
and vans, and for combination tractors. If adopted, these provisions 
would have the effect of easing the burden associated with complying 
with the lower-leakage requirements when a lower-GWP refrigerant is 
used instead of HFC-134a. These provisions would recognize that leakage 
of refrigerants would be relatively less damaging from a climate 
perspective if one of the lower-GWP alternatives is used. Specifically, 
EPA proposed to allow a manufacturer to be ``deemed to comply'' with 
the leakage standard set through the Phase 1 regulations by using a 
lower-GWP alternative refrigerant. EPA proposed that in order to be 
``deemed to comply'' the vehicle manufacturer would need to use a 
refrigerant other than HFC-134a that is listed as an acceptable 
alternative refrigerant for heavy-duty MVAC systems under SNAP, and 
defined under the LD GHG regulations at 40 CFR 86.1867-12(e) (80 FR 
40343-44; July 12, 2015). The lower-GWP refrigerants currently defined 
at 40 CFR 86.1867-12(e) are HFC-152a, HFO-1234yf, and CO2.
    If HFO-1234yf is listed as acceptable under SNAP for use in HD 
pickup trucks and complete HD vans, as proposed, and if the incentive 
proposed in the Phase 2 HD NPRM is finalized, these types of HD 
vehicles manufactured with HFO-1234yf MVAC systems will be ``deemed to 
comply'' with the low leakage standard.
7. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposed action. EPA is 
particularly interested in any additional exposure scenarios or unique 
characteristics of the types of HD vehicles included in today's action 
as compared to LD vehicles where HFO-1234yf has previously been listed 
as acceptable. In addition, EPA also specifically requests comment on 
whether the proposed use conditions are adequately protective for 
MDPVs, HD pickup truck, and complete HD vans, or whether more 
protective use conditions are necessary. If a commenter believes more 
protective use conditions are necessary, the commenter should identify 
what additional, more protective use conditions could be implemented.
    With regard to incomplete HD pickup trucks and vans, EPA requests 
information on any modifications to incomplete HD pickup trucks by 
secondary manufacturers that could result in modifying the OEM-
installed MVAC system. Concerning incomplete HD vans, at this time, EPA 
does not have information on all potential vehicle conversions that 
could be made by secondary manufacturers or the impact those 
conversions may have with regard to the SNAP criteria. Due to lack of 
information on potential vehicle conversions, EPA cannot assess whether 
or not the same risk analysis used for complete HD vans would be 
applicable to all incomplete HD vans. However, EPA is aware that for 
some incomplete HD vans, secondary manufacturers do not modify the MVAC 
systems. An example of an incomplete HD van that is manufactured by the 
OEM with cabin cooling that is not altered by the secondary 
manufacturer might be a HD van customized by a secondary manufacturer 
for transportation of persons with disabilities. In this situation, the 
secondary manufacturer would install wheelchair ramps, lifts, and other 
equipment to meet the needs of their customer in an incomplete HD van 
from the OEM without making any modifications to the OEM-installed MVAC 
system. However, some secondary manufacturers may alter the OEM MVAC 
system design based on their needs (e.g., alter the MVAC system to 
provide cooling to the back of a vehicle). We request comments on 
whether there is a distinction that can be made between HD vans that 
could not have the MVAC systems modified and those that could have the 
MVAC systems modified. EPA is not including these vehicle types in this 
proposed action but is interested in receiving information on this 
topic. If such information clearly indicates that necessary 
distinctions can be made, and EPA establishes that use of HFO-1234yf in 
these vehicles will not result in greater overall risk to human health 
and the environment, the Agency would consider taking further 
rulemaking action to include a subset of incomplete HD vans in the 
listing of HFO-1234yf instead.

[[Page 22868]]

    Additional risk analysis would be necessary prior to considering a 
listing decision for HFO-1234yf in all incomplete HD vans, especially 
on those for which the OEM-installed MVAC system may be altered. EPA 
requests comment on secondary manufacturer modifications that are 
likely for HD vans and, we welcome information on the types of 
modifications that could result in altering the MVAC system installed 
by the OEMs and the procedures for those modifications. EPA requests 
information on potential exposure scenarios, and is especially 
interested in information relevant to risk assessment such as charge 
sizes, the ratio of charge size to cabin size, exposure levels, 
potential for leaks and for ignition events, and means of mitigating 
risks during system modifications by the secondary manufacturer, and 
subsequently during the useful life of the vehicle. This information 
may be used to inform a future listing.
    Additionally, EPA requests information on development of HFO-1234yf 
MVAC systems for other HD vehicle types or off-road vehicles, or plans 
to develop these systems in the future. This information may be used to 
inform a future listing.

C. Foam Blowing Agents

1. Proposed Change of Status for Certain HFC Foam Blowing Agents for 
Rigid PU Spray Foam
    As provided in the following table, for rigid PU spray foam, EPA is 
proposing to list as acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, 
numerous foam blowing agents for military or space- and aeronautics-
related applications, and change the status from acceptable to 
unacceptable for all other uses:

Table 17--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for Foam Blowing Agents in
                           Rigid PU Spray Foam
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                 Substitutes        Proposed decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rigid PU: Spray foam--high-   HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,  Acceptable subject
 pressure two-component.       and blends thereof;   to narrowed use
                               blends of HFC-        limits for military
                               365mfc with at        or space- and
                               least four percent    aeronautics-related
                               HFC-245fa, and        applications * as
                               commercial blends     of January 1, 2020.
                               of HFC-365mfc with   Unacceptable for all
                               seven to 13 percent   applications other
                               HFC-227ea and the     than military or
                               remainder HFC-        space- and
                               365mfc; and           aeronautics-related
                               Formacel TI.          applications as of
                                                     January 1, 2020.
                                                    Unacceptable for all
                                                     uses as of January
                                                     1, 2025.
Rigid PU: Spray foam--low-    HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,  Acceptable subject
 pressure two-component.       and blends thereof;   to narrowed use
                               blends of HFC-        limits for military
                               365mfc with at        or space- and
                               least four percent    aeronautics-related
                               HFC-245fa, and        applications * as
                               commercial blends     of January 1, 2021.
                               of HFC-365mfc with   Unacceptable for all
                               seven to 13 percent   applications other
                               HFC-227ea and the     than military or
                               remainder HFC-        space- and
                               365mfc; and           aeronautics-related
                               Formacel TI.          applications as of
                                                     January 1, 2021.
                                                    Unacceptable for all
                                                     uses as of January
                                                     1, 2025.
Rigid PU: Spray foam--one     HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,  Unacceptable as of
 component foam sealants.      and blends thereof;   January 1, 2020.
                               blends of HFC-
                               365mfc with at
                               least four percent
                               HFC-245fa, and
                               commercial blends
                               of HFC-365mfc with
                               seven to 13 percent
                               HFC-227ea and the
                               remainder HFC-
                               365mfc; and
                               Formacel TI.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Under the narrowed use limit, an end user must make reasonable efforts
  to ascertain that other alternatives are not technically feasible due
  to performance or safety requirements.

    EPA is proposing to change the listings from acceptable to 
unacceptable, for HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; blends of 
HFC-365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa; commercial blends of 
HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
365mfc; and the HFC blend Formacel TI for use in rigid PU spray foam, 
with the exception of certain narrowed use limits for military, space, 
and aeronautics uses. See section VI.C.3 for how these proposed changes 
would apply to imported foam products.
    In the NPRM published on August 6, 2014, EPA proposed to change the 
listings from acceptable to unacceptable for HFC-134a and blends 
thereof, and the HFC blend Formacel TI for spray foam as of January 1, 
2017 (79 FR 46149). In that proposal, EPA stated that a number of 
nonflammable HFCs and HFC blends, such as HFC-245fa, blends of HFC-
365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa by weight, and commercial 
blends of HFC-365mfc and HFC-227ea, with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea 
and the remainder HFC-365mfc, were available and posed significantly 
less risk in the spray foam end-uses. We noted that these available HFC 
foam blowing agents provide a non-flammable alternative where there are 
flammability concerns associated with in situ use and use with 
pressurized spray pumps that meant most flammable foam blowing agents 
were not feasible for use based on the current state of knowledge (79 
FR 46149, 46152; August 6, 2014). After considering the comments 
received on the proposed rule, EPA deferred taking final action on 
spray foam in the final rule. See sections V.D.2.a and V.D.3.b of the 
preamble to the final rule (80 FR 42870; July 20, 2015).
a. What is the affected end-use?
    In the past, EPA combined spray foam, commercial refrigeration 
foam, sandwich panels, and marine flotation foam within a single end-
use: rigid PU spray foam. However, because of differences in the 
exposure and fire safety characteristics of these uses as well as the 
fact that different alternatives are generally used for each of these 
applications, EPA more recently created separate end-use listings for 
each of these applications. See 80 FR 42870; July 20, 2015. Commercial 
refrigeration and sandwich panels include insulation for walls, pipes 
(including ``pipe-in-pipe''), metal doors, vending machines, 
refrigerated and unrefrigerated coolers, refrigerated transport 
vehicles, and other laboratory and commercial refrigeration equipment, 
as well as foam for taxidermy. These foams may be injected or applied 
using ``pour-in-place'' equipment, depending on the agent used and on 
whether the formulation is pressurized. Marine flotation foam includes 
buoyancy or flotation foam used in construction of boats and ships. 
These foams typically are injected into a cavity in the boat wall from 
a two-canister (A- and B-side) system under lower pressures and they 
provide structure as well as buoyancy. Rigid PU

[[Page 22869]]

spray foam, hereafter called ``spray foam,'' includes insulation for 
roofing, walls, doors, and other construction uses, as well as foam for 
building breakers for pipelines. These foams are rigid with closed 
cells that still contain the foam blowing agent, which can contribute 
to the foam's ability to insulate. Spray foam may have similar 
chemistry to other rigid PU end-uses, but it differs by being sprayed 
onto a surface in the location where it is to be used, either when 
constructing a new building or when adding insulation to an existing 
building, rather than being injected or poured or being produced in a 
manufacturing facility. As a result, it may be more difficult to 
provide engineered ventilation during application of spray foam than 
for other foam end-uses. The proposed action applies only to this last 
end-use--spray foam and we have identified three distinct and separate 
spray foam applications for this end-use: (1) High-pressure two-
component, (2) low-pressure two-component, and (3) one-component foam 
sealants.
i. High-Pressure Two-Component Spray Foam
    High-pressure two-component spray foam products are pressurized 
800-1600 psi during manufacture, are sold in pressurized containers as 
two parts (i.e., A-side and B-side), and are sprayed in the field for 
thermal insulation and air sealing of buildings and in roofing 
applications. In the United States, Side A typically contains methylene 
diphenyl isocyanate (MDI), consisting of monomeric MDI and higher 
molecular weight oligomers. Side B typically contains polyols and a 
mixture of other chemicals, including catalysts, flame retardants, 
blowing agents, and surfactants. High-pressure two-component spray foam 
is blown and applied in situ using high-pressure pumps to propel the 
foam components, and thus, may use liquid blowing agents without an 
additional propellant. Common liquid foam blowing agents used in high-
pressure two-component spray foam include HFC-245fa; blends of HFC-
365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa; and commercial blends of 
HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
365mfc. This type of spray foam is applied by professionals who wear 
personal protective equipment (PPE) while applying high-density foam 
insulation for roofing or walls. The amount of resin and foam blowing 
agent is more than for low-pressure two-component spray foam and for 
one-component spray foam sealants. High-pressure two-component spray 
foam comprises the largest portion of the spray foam market.
ii. Low-Pressure Two-Component Spray Foam
    Low-pressure two-component spray foam products are pressurized to 
less than 250 psi during manufacture, are sold in pressurized 
containers as two parts (i.e., A-side & B-side), and are sprayed in the 
field for thermal insulation and air sealing of buildings. Low-pressure 
two-component spray foams are typically applied in situ relying upon a 
gaseous foam blowing agent that also serves as a propellant; pumps 
typically are not needed. This end-use category has primarily used the 
gaseous blowing agent HFC-134a; the Foams Technical Option Committee 
has also identified CO2 and water as options. Low-pressure 
two-component spray foam is usually applied by home improvement 
contractors to fill in cracks and gaps in a residence using kits that 
are available for sale.\183\ The amount of resin and foam blowing agent 
is smaller than for high-pressure two-component spray foam.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \183\ Low-pressure two-component spray foam kits should only be 
used by trained professionals. The polyurethanes industry has 
guidance on how to use low pressure kits available at: http://spraypolyurethane.org/spf-chemical-health-and-safety-training and at 
http://spraypolyurethane.org/Main-Menu-Category/Weatherization-Contractors/Installing-SPF.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

iii. One-Component Spray Foam Sealants
    One-component foam sealants are packaged in aerosol cans and are 
applied in situ using a gaseous foam blowing agent that is also the 
propellant for the aerosol formulation. Because the SNAP program has 
not expressly identified one-component spray foam sealants in the past 
descriptions of the end-use, manufacturers of one-component foam 
sealants may have considered acceptable substitutes in the larger rigid 
PU: Commercial refrigeration, spray, and sandwich panel end-use to 
apply for this end-use or acceptable propellants in the aerosol sector 
to apply. This end-use category primarily uses light saturated HCs as 
the blowing agent, as well as HFCs such as HFC-134a and HFC-152a. This 
type of spray foam may be used by consumers and by home improvement 
contractors in order to seal cracks and leaks in a residence, as well 
as used for pest management. The total amount of resin and foam blowing 
agent is smaller than for low-pressure two-component spray foam.
b. Which foam blowing agents is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    EPA is proposing to change the status of the following HFCs and HFC 
blends that are currently listed as acceptable foam blowing agents for 
use in spray foam: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; blends of 
HFC-365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa; commercial blends of 
HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
365mfc; and Formacel TI.\184\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \184\ We note that neat HFC-365mfc has never been listed as 
acceptable for use in spray foam.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. How do the proposed unacceptable blowing agents compare to other 
blowing agents for these applications with respect to SNAP criteria?
    HFCs have been widely used as blowing agents in spray foam in the 
United States since the phaseout of ODS blowing agents such as HCFC-
141b, particularly where insulation value and flammability have been of 
greater concern. Over the past ten years, the number of available 
alternatives has increased and the variety of uses for acceptable 
blowing agents has also expanded. A number of new foam blowing agents 
with low GWPs, both fluorinated and non-fluorinated, have been 
introduced during the past several years. Many end users have indicated 
interest in these newer alternatives, often to improve energy 
efficiency of the foam products manufactured with the foam blowing 
agent. Production volumes for some of these newer substitutes are 
expanding rapidly to keep pace with growing demand.
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; ecosystem effects, particularly from 
negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental and 
health risks (e.g., flammability, exposure, and toxicity) are discussed 
below. In addition, a technical support document \185\ that provides 
the Federal Register citations concerning data on the SNAP criteria 
(e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for acceptable 
alternatives in the relevant end-uses may be found in the docket for 
this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \185\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 22870]]

i. Environmental Impacts
    The HFCs that we are proposing to find unacceptable have GWPs 
ranging from 1,030 for HFC-245fa to 1,430 for HFC-134a. The HFC blends 
that we are proposing to find unacceptable have GWPs that vary 
depending on the specific composition; the range of GWPs for blends is 
740 to 1,030 for blends of HFC-365mfc with at least four percent HFC-
245fa, 900 to 1,100 for commercial blends of HFC-365mfc with seven to 
13 percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-365mfc, and 1,330 to 
approximately 1,500 for Formacel TI.
    Alternatives for all three spray foam applications include 
CO2, water, Exxsol blowing agents, ecomateTM, 
HFC-152a, HFO-1234ze(E), and trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene. 
As shown in Table 18, these alternatives have GWPs ranging from zero to 
1,430. In addition, for one-component foam sealants only, light 
saturated HCs are acceptable, with GWPs in the range of three to 15. 
For high-pressure two-component spray foam only, HFO-1336mzz(Z) is 
acceptable, with a GWP of approximately nine. These GWPs are 
significantly lower than the GWPs of 740 to 1,430 for the HFC and HFC 
blend substitutes subject to the proposed change of status.

   Table 18--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Foam Blowing Agents in Rigid Polyurethane High-Pressure Two-Component
       Spray Foam, Low-Pressure Two-Component Spray Foam, and Rigid PU One-Component Foam Sealants \1\ \2\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Blowing agents                  GWP             ODP                VOC                 Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Rigid PU High-Pressure Two-Component Spray Foam
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends           790-1,430               0  No..................  Acceptable, subject
 thereof; blends of HFC-365mfc with                                                         to narrowed use
 at least four percent HFC-245fa,                                                           limits \2\ or
 and commercial blends of HFC-                                                              unacceptable.
 365mfc with seven to 13 percent
 HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
 365mfc; and Formacel[supreg] TI.
CO2; Ecomate; Formic Acid; HFC-               0-124       0-0.00034  No..................  No change.
 152a; HFO-1234ze; trans-1-chloro-
 3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene
 (SolsticeTM 1233ze(E)) \1\; Water.
Exxsol Blowing Agents; Formic Acid;            >1-9               0  Yes.................  No change.
 HFO-1336mzz(Z).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Rigid PU Low-Pressure Two-Component Spray Foam
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends           794-1,430               0  No..................  Acceptable, subject
 thereof; blends of HFC-365mfc with                                                         to narrowed use
 at least four percent HFC-245fa,                                                           limits \2\ or
 and commercial blends of HFC-                                                              unacceptable.
 365mfc with seven to 13 percent
 HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
 365mfc; and Formacel[supreg] TI.
CO2; Ecomate; HFC-152a; HFO-1234ze;           0-124       0-0.00034  No..................  No change.
 trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-
 1-ene; Water.
Exxsol Blowing Agents; Formic Acid;            >1-9               0  Yes.................  No change.
 HFO-1336mzz(Z).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Rigid PU One-Component Foam Sealants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends           790-1,430               0  No..................  Unacceptable.
 thereof; blends of HFC-365mfc with
 at least four percent HFC-245fa,
 and commercial blends of HFC-
 365mfc with seven to 13 percent
 HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-
 365mfc; and Formacel[supreg] TI.
CO2; Ecomate; HFC-152a; HFO-1234ze;           0-124       0-0.00034  No..................  No change.
 Methyl Formate; trans-1-chloro-
 3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene; Water.
Exxsol Blowing Agents; Formic Acid;            >1-9               0  Yes.................  No change.
 HFO-1336mzz(Z); Saturated Light
 Hydrocarbons C3-C6.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-uses or
  additives combined with other acceptable blowing agents.
\2\ For military or space- and aeronautics-related applications.

    All of the HFCs and HFC blends for which we are proposing a change 
of status to unacceptable consist of compounds that are non-ozone-
depleting. Of all of the alternatives in the three applications 
affected by the proposed change of status listed above, only trans-1-
chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene contains chlorine and thus might have 
an ODP. Trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene has an ODP of 0.00024 
to 0.00034 and estimates of its maximum potential impact on the ozone 
layer indicate a statistically insignificant impact, comparable to that 
of other substitutes in the same end-use that are considered to be non-
ozone-depleting.186 187
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \186\ Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: 
Analyses of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' 
Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, 
IL. September 26, 2011.
    \187\ Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and 
Ozone Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trichloropropylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-
dimensional model.'' Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All of the HFCs and HFC blends for which we are proposing a change 
of status to unacceptable consist of compounds that are excluded from 
the definition of VOC under CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) 
addressing the development of SIPs to attain and maintain the NAAQS. 
With the exception of light saturated HCs (for one-component foam 
sealants only), Exxsol blowing agents (for all spray foam applications) 
and HFO-1336mzz(Z) (for high-pressure two-component spray foam only), 
the other alternatives contain compounds that are not VOC (i.e., water) 
or are excluded from the definition of VOC under CAA regulations (see 
40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs to attain and 
maintain the NAAQS (e.g., CO2, component of ecomate, HFO-
1234ze(E), trans-1-chloro-3,3,3,-trifluoroprop-1-ene). Based on the 
small anticipated usage of hydrocarbons and of Exxsol blowing agents, 
and due to existing state regulations affecting aerosol products that 
may include once-component foam sealants, we do not expect these 
alternative to have a significantly greater impact on local air quality 
than other available alternatives in these applications. The 
manufacturer of HFO-1336mzz(Z) has petitioned EPA to exempt HFO-
1336mzz(Z) from the definition of VOC under those regulations. As 
provided in our decisions listing these substitutes as

[[Page 22871]]

acceptable, we determined that emissions of these alternatives in this 
end use would not pose a significantly greater risk than that posed by 
foam blowing agents that are not VOCs.
ii. Flammability
    All of the HFCs and HFC blends for which we are proposing a change 
of status are nonflammable. There has been use of blends of HFC-134a 
and HFC-152a, composition unspecified, in the past; those blends may be 
flammable depending on the exact composition.
    HFO-1234ze(E), HFO-1336mzz(Z), and trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trifluoroprop-1-ene are nonflammable blowing agents that have recently 
been listed as acceptable. The manufacturers of the flammable 
alternatives Exxsol blowing agents and ecomateTM have 
developed training to assist users of high-pressure two-component spray 
foam users in addressing the flammability hazards of these flammable 
foam blowing agents in this end-use and thereby minimize flammability 
risks.188 189
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \188\ UNEP, 2013. Report of the Technology and Economic 
Assessment Panel, Volume 2: Decision XXIV/7 Task Force Report, 
Additional Information on Alternatives to ODS. September, 2013.
    \189\ FTOC, 2011. Report of the Rigid and Flexible Foams 
Technical Options Committee, 2010 Assessment. This document is 
accessible at: http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/FTOC/FTOC-2010-Assessment-Report.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Use of flammable blowing agents in spray foam can be an issue. 
Spray foam is frequently used in situ in commercial and residential 
buildings and it is not practical to make all electrical fixtures 
explosion proof or to add engineered ventilation when applying spray 
foam in place in many circumstances. As mentioned above, flammability 
is a major issue for high-pressure and low-pressure two-component spray 
foam. Thus, all acceptable substitutes in these applications either are 
nonflammable or else are flammable but information in EPA's possession 
indicates there are measures available to mitigate flammability risk.
iii. Toxicity
    Both the HFC substitutes for which we are proposing a change of 
status and other alternatives have workplace exposure limits, either as 
regulatory requirements (i.e., OSHA PEL) or as a recommendation (e.g., 
AIHA WEEL, ACGIH TLV or manufacturer recommended workplace exposure 
limits). Proper training, use of PPE, and use of ventilation should be 
adhered to when applying spray foam. As we determined at the time that 
we listed both the substitutes for which we are proposing a status 
change and the other available alternatives, they can be used 
consistent with the relevant workplace exposure limits in spray foam.
iv. Summary
    EPA is proposing to find HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; 
commercial blends of HFC-365mfc and HFC-227ea, containing seven to 13 
percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-365mfc; blends of HFC-365mfc 
and at least four percent HFC-245fa; and Formacel TI unacceptable in 
spray foam because there are other available or potentially available 
alternatives that reduce risk overall compared to these foam blowing 
agents. EPA has listed as acceptable several alternatives that pose 
lower overall risk to human health and the environment than the blowing 
agents whose status we are proposing to change to unacceptable. The 
risks other than GWP are not significantly different for the 
alternatives than for the blowing agents we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable, and the GWPs for the blowing agents we are proposing to 
list as unacceptable are significantly higher and thus pose 
significantly greater risk.
d. What narrowed use limits for military or space- and aeronautics-
related applications is EPA proposing?
    EPA is proposing an time-limited exception to the proposed 
unacceptability determination for HFC and HFC blend foam blowing agents 
for military or space- and aeronautics-related applications when used 
in low pressure two-component and high pressure two-component spray 
foam. Specifically, EPA is proposing a narrowed use limit that would 
expire on January 1, 2025. As provided in section e below, the vast 
majority of applications for spray foams are anticipated to be able to 
transition to acceptable alternatives by January 1, 2020, for high-
pressure two-component spray foam and as of January 1, 2021, for low-
pressure two-component spray foam. However, for the military, there are 
several unique performance requirements related to weapon systems that 
require extensive testing and qualification prior to qualifying 
alternatives for HFC-containing foams. In addition, some of the lower-
GWP alternatives may not be available by 2020 or 2021in certain 
specialty applications with unique military requirements such as 
undersea; aerospace; and chemical, biological, and radiological warfare 
systems. In the case of space- and aeronautics- related applications, 
past experience indicates that transitions away from the foam blowing 
agents in current use took several years due to the challenging 
operational environment and the lengthy requalification process 
associated with human-rated space flight systems.
    Users of a restricted agent within the narrowed use limits category 
must make a reasonable effort to ascertain that other substitutes or 
alternatives are not technically feasible. Users are expected to 
undertake a thorough technical investigation of alternatives to the 
otherwise restricted substitute. Although users are not required to 
report the results of their investigations to EPA, users must document 
these results, and retain them in their files for the purpose of 
demonstrating compliance.
    Users should include the following additional documentation to 
demonstrate compliance with the narrowed use applications. This 
information includes descriptions of:
     Process or product in which the substitute is needed;
     Substitutes examined and rejected;
     Reason for rejection of other alternatives, e.g., 
performance, technical or safety standards; and/or
     Anticipated date other substitutes will be available and 
projected time for switching.
e. When would the status change?
    Except for the proposed narrow use limits addressed above, EPA is 
proposing to change the listings from acceptable to unacceptable (1) in 
high-pressure two-component spray foam and in one-component foam 
sealants as of January 1, 2020, and (2) in low-pressure two-component 
spray foam as of January 1, 2021. The change of status would apply to 
the following blowing agents: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; 
blends of HFC-365mfc with at least four percent HFC-245fa, and 
commercial blends of HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 percent HFC-227ea and 
the remainder HFC-365mfc and Formacel TI. The Agency is aware of 
several companies transitioning between now and 2017.\190\ However, a 
transition date of January 1, 2020, is necessary for high-pressure two-
component spray foam to allow sufficient opportunity for affected 
entities to redesign to address the technical issues associated with 
using a different foam blowing agent, including the time required for 
reformulation (about one year), and the time required for testing and 
certification of the final

[[Page 22872]]

commercial product (one to one and a half years). Similarly, a 
transition date of January 1, 2021, is necessary for low-pressure two-
component to address the technical issues associated with using a 
different foam blowing agent. Based on information from several 
companies developing low-pressure two-component spray foam products, 
the process of reformulation has been more difficult than for high-
pressure two-component spray, because it must have a significantly 
longer shelf life and requires significant reformulation to achieve an 
acceptable shelf-life. These products are then sold to an end user many 
months after they are formulated. Thus, at least two years are expected 
to be needed for reformulation after issuance of a final rule and 
another one to one and a half years for testing for low-pressure two-
component spray foam, resulting in a change of status date of January 
1, 2021.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \190\ Public and private sector commitments made at the White 
House Roundtable on October 15, 2015 is available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/15/fact-sheet-obama-administration-and-private-sector-leaders-announce.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For high-pressure two-component and low-pressure two-component 
spray foam a certain insulation value may be required to meet building 
code requirements. Some studies have indicated that CO2 may 
provide less insulation value to an insulation foam, pound for pound, 
than HFCs. Recent information on some of the newer fluorinated foam 
blowing agents with low GWPs, such as HFO-1234ze(E), HFO-1336mzz(Z), 
and trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, indicates these foam 
blowing agents provide comparable or greater insulation value than 
their HCFC and HFC predecessors. Part of the process of testing and 
certification for spray foam used for building insulation includes 
verifying sufficient insulation value to meet building code 
requirements.
    January 1, 2020, is the earliest date by which there will be 
sufficient supply of alternatives for high-pressure two-component spray 
foam. Although alternatives are commercially available for this end-use 
(e.g., trans-1-chloro-trifluoroprop-1-ene, ecomateTM), there 
is already demand and concerns about sufficient supply from foam 
manufacturers in other end-uses (80 FR 42870, 42925-42930; July 20, 
2015). An additional blowing agent, HFO-1336mzz(Z), is expected to 
become commercially available in 2017,\191\ providing greater supply of 
alternative foam blowing agent, as well as providing an additional 
nonflammable, low GWP option with good insulation properties that could 
be especially useful in high-pressure two-component spray foam.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \191\ Cooling Post, 2015. ``Chemours to build HFO-1336mzz 
plant.'' November 17, 2015. This document is accessible online at: 
http://www.coolingpost.com/world-news/chemours-to-build-hfo-1336mzz-plant/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For one-component foam sealants, we expect that the transition 
process for manufacturers of these products should be quicker than for 
manufacturers of low-pressure two-component spray foam because testing 
is required only for a final formulation in an aerosol can for one-
component foam sealants, rather than testing both the formulation in 
separate containers (A- and B-side) and ensuring the long-term 
stability of the final blown foam once the two parts are mixed to blow 
the foam. Also, no certification testing would be required for the one-
component foam sealant, unlike for high-pressure two-component foam. In 
Europe, one-component foam sealants have already converted away from 
using HFCs and predominantly use HCs or HFO-1234ze(E), which are 
available substitutes for this end-use under SNAP. Allowing for one 
year for reformulation and one to two years for testing of products and 
to allow existing stock of one-component foams to be purchased and 
used, we are proposing a change of status date of January 1, 2020, 
after which date, no more one-component foam sealants (cans) could be 
manufactured using the specified HFC blowing agents, but the end user 
could continue to use cans that had already been manufactured. In the 
July 20, 2015, final rule, EPA took such an approach for aerosol 
propellants, which are used in similar packages for consumer use as 
well as for manufacturing use, and similarly, may be in distribution 
for a year or more before they are purchased and eventually used by the 
end user. Under the proposed approach, we would limit the applicability 
of the use prohibition on closed cell foam products (discussed in 
section VI.C.3), so that it would not apply to closed cell foam 
products produced through the use of a one-component spray foam 
manufactured prior to the status change date.
    For low-pressure two-component spray foam, commenters on the August 
6, 2014, proposal with a change of status date of January 1, 2017, 
expressed concern about the feasibility of alternatives by that date. 
Specifically, two manufacturers mentioned the heightened challenges of 
shelf-life and stability for a product using HFO-1234ze(E), and 
suggested change of status dates of January 1, 2020 or 2021.\192\ \193\ 
One manufacturer of alternative foam blowing agents suggested that HFC-
134a and Formacel[supreg] TI should remain listed as acceptable for use 
in low-pressure foam systems until multiple low-GWP alternatives with 
appropriate technical performance qualities would become commercially 
available,\194\ while another foam blowing agent manufacturer claimed 
that multiple options are available for this use but would require a 
couple of years to be optimized.\195\ Since that time, some of these 
same companies have provided additional information indicating that 
many of the technical challenges with use of HFO-1234ze(E) have been 
worked through and that this is expected to be a viable option given 
sufficient time to address the technical challenges of a 
transition.\196\ \197\ To allow sufficient time for manufacturers of 
low-pressure two-component spray foam kits to complete working through 
the technical challenges of alternatives, as well as time for existing 
kits to be distributed, purchased, and used by the end user, we are 
proposing, as our lead option, a change of status date of January 1, 
2021. Alternatively, similar to an approach proposed above for one-
component foam sealants, EPA proposing as an alternative option a 
change of status date of January 1, 2020, for low-pressure two-
component spray foam kits, after which date no more kits could be 
manufactured using the specified HFC blowing agents, but the end user 
could continue to use kits that had already been manufactured. Although 
low-pressure two-part spray foam kits would typically be used by a 
professional (e.g., home improvement contractor) rather than by a 
consumer, there are similar issues with an extended chain manufacture, 
distribution, and use for these kits that are more similar to aerosol 
canisters and

[[Page 22873]]

one-component spray foam sealants than to high-pressure two-component 
spray foam or other foam blowing end-uses (e.g., rigid PU appliance, 
rigid PU commercial refrigeration and sandwich panel). Under this 
alternative proposal, as under the proposed approach for one-component 
spray foams, we would limit the applicability of the use prohibition on 
closed cell foam products (discussed in section VI.C.3) so that it 
would not apply to closed cell foam products produced through the use 
of a low-pressure two-component spray foam kit manufactured prior to 
the status change date.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \192\ Fomo, 2014. Comment Re: Proposed SNAP Program Status 
Change Rule Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198, submitted by Dr. 
Thomas Fishback, Vice President, Research and Development, Fomo 
Products, Inc. October 16, 2014. Docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-
0139.
    \193\ Clayton Corporation, 2014. Re: Proposed SNAP Program 
Status Change Rule Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198. October 20, 
2014. Docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0133.
    \194\ DuPont, 2014. Re: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: 
Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the 
Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. Submitted by Michael 
Parr and Mack McFarland, DuPont. October 17, 2014. Docket number 
EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0077.
    \195\ Honeywell, 2014. Comments on Proposed Rule: Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain 
Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program 
(Docket no. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198). October 20, 2014. Docket number 
EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0170.
    \196\ Fomo, 2015. ``The Use of Solstice[supreg] Gas Blowing 
Agent (GBA) in Low Pressure Spray Polyurethane Foam Applications;'' 
Cline, Mojee and Bogdan, Mary; October, 2015. Polyurethane Industry 
Conference 2015.
    \197\ Clayton Corporation, 2015. Clayton Corporation Meeting 
with EPA Stratospheric Protection Division, December 8, 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

f. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    Over the past several years, to address potential exposure to 
workers and consumers, the Federal Partnership and each of its member 
agencies, including EPA, CPSC, OSHA, and NIOSH have worked to reduce 
exposure to various chemicals emitted from spray foam. For example, EPA 
and its federal partners have continued to work with industry to 
develop best practices for application of spray foam, and EPA's Office 
of Research and Development has been developing methods to measure 
emissions of chemicals from spray foam as part of the ASTM Indoor Air 
Subcommittee D.22.05 on Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation. The list of 
proposed and final standards represents the issues raised by the 
committee and the range of compounds of interest includes isocyanates, 
blowing agents, amine catalysts, flame retardants, and aldehydes.\198\ 
In addition to federal rules and guidance applying to the spray foam 
industry, insulation foam used in construction (e.g., high-pressure 
two-component spray foam) must meet insulation value requirements in 
state and local building codes, as discussed above in section VI.C.1.d.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \198\ Sleasman, K. and Biggs, M., 2015. Lessons learned from the 
Federal Partners Workgroup on Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF), 
presented at the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry Technical 
Conference, October, 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

g. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comments on all aspects of this proposed decision to 
change the listings of certain foam blowing agents in the three for 
spray foam end-uses. In particular, EPA requests comment on the 
proposed decision to change the status of the identified substitutes to 
unacceptable (1) in high-pressure two-component spray foam and in one-
component foam sealants on January 1, 2020, and (2) in low-pressure 
two-component spray foam on January 1, 2021. EPA is interested in 
comment on whether there are specific applications for one-component 
spray foam sealants, low-pressure two-component, and high-pressure two-
component spray foam for which there are no alternatives available with 
lower overall risks to human health and the environment than the 
substitutes for which we are proposing a change of status: HFC-134a, 
HFC-245fa, and blends thereof; blends of HFC-365mfc with at least four 
percent HFC-245fa, and commercial blends of HFC-365mfc with seven to 13 
percent HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-365mfc; and Formacel TI, for 
reasons of fire safety or technical feasibility. EPA requests comment 
on whether the proposed change of status dates for one-component spray 
foam sealants, low pressure two-component, and high pressure two-
component spray foam are appropriate in light of technical challenges 
and the supply of other alternatives. Where commenters indicate more 
time is needed due to supply or technical challenges, EPA is interested 
in information concerning what is limiting supply of substitutes and on 
the specific technical steps and time needed for each step in order to 
transition to alternatives. Additionally, EPA requests comment on 
whether the change of status date for one component foam sealants and 
low-pressure two-component spray foam should be based upon the date the 
product may no longer be used or whether it should be based upon a date 
of manufacture of the product with no restriction on the use of 
products sold prior to the change of status date.
2. Proposed Revision To Change of Status Date of Certain HFCs and HFC 
Blends for Space- and Aeronautics-Related Foam Applications
    EPA is proposing to change the date upon which certain HFCs and HFC 
blend foam blowing agents for space- and aeronautics-related 
applications change status from acceptable, subject to narrowed use 
limits, to unacceptable. EPA is proposing to revise this change of 
status date to January 1, 2025. EPA is proposing to revise the change 
of status date only for space- and aeronautics-related applications and 
not for military uses.
    Table 19 summarizes the end-uses and blowing agents that in the 
July 20, 2015, final rule were listed as unacceptable for military and 
space- and aeronautics-related applications as of January 1, 2022 and 
for which we are proposing to revise the change of status date to 
January 1, 2025.

 Table 19--Proposed Revisions to Change of Status Dates for Foam Blowing
                                 Agents
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                Substitutes      Proposed decision *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rigid Polyurethane: Appliance.  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
                                 245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc and         for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI, and   aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel Z-6.      applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2020.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Rigid Polyurethane: Commercial  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
 Refrigeration and Sandwich      245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
 Panels.                         365mfc, and        for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI, and   aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel Z-6.      applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2020.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Rigid Polyurethane: Marine      HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
 Flotation Foam.                 245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc and         for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI, and   aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel Z-6.      applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2020.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Rigid Polyurethane: Slabstock   HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
 and Other.                      245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc and         for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI, and   aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel Z-6.      applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2019.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Rigid Polyurethane and          HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
 Polyisocyanurate Laminated      245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
 Boardstock.                     365mfc and         for military or
                                 blends thereof.    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2017.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.

[[Page 22874]]

 
Flexible Polyurethane.........  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
                                 245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc, and        for military or
                                 blends thereof.    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2017.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Integral Skin Polyurethane....  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
                                 245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc, and        for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI, and   aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel Z-6.      applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2017.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Polystyrene: Extruded Sheet...  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
                                 245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc, and        for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI, and   aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel Z-6.      applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2017.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Polystyrene: Extruded           HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
 Boardstock and Billet (XPS).    245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc, and        for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI,       aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel B, and    applications * and
                                 Formacel Z-6.      unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2021.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Polyolefin....................  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
                                 245fa, HFC-        narrowed use limits
                                 365mfc, and        for military or
                                 blends thereof;    space- and
                                 Formacel TI, and   aeronautics-related
                                 Formacel Z-6.      applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2020.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
Phenolic Insulation Board and   HFC-143a, HFC-     Acceptable subject to
 Bunstock.                       134a, HFC-245fa,   narrowed use limits
                                 HFC-365mfc, and    for military or
                                 blends thereof.    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications * and
                                                    unacceptable for all
                                                    other uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2017.
                                                    Unacceptable for
                                                    military uses as of
                                                    January 1, 2022 and
                                                    unacceptable for
                                                    space- and
                                                    aeronautics-related
                                                    applications as of
                                                    January 1, 2025.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Under the narrowed use limit, use is limited to military or space- and
  aeronautics-related applications where reasonable efforts have been
  made to ascertain that other alternatives are not technically feasible
  due to performance or safety requirements.

a. What are the affected end-uses?
    This proposal would apply specifically to space- and aeronautics-
related applications in the same end-uses that are regulated in 
appendix U to subpart G of 40 CFR part 82, as listed above in Table 19. 
This proposal to revise the changes of status date does not apply to 
the narrowed use limit for military uses for which the change of status 
date is January 1, 2022.
b. Which foam blowing agents are affected?
    This proposal applies to the HFC and HFC blend foam blowing agents 
that are regulated in appendix U to subpart G of 40 CFR part 82, as 
listed above in Table 19. This proposal does not affect any HCFC foam 
blowing agents.
c. When would the status change?
    We are proposing to revise the status change date for certain HFC 
and HFC blend foam blowing agents for space and aeronautics-related 
foam applications from acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits to 
unacceptable as of January 1, 2025--three years later than the current 
status change date of January 1, 2022. Based on recent discussions with 
other government agencies, EPA is aware that some space flight hardware 
used in the United States is being developed in the European Union. 
Under E.U. regulations, certain types of HFC foams may be blown and 
used after January 1, 2022, but by the mid-2020s those regulations will 
no longer allow the use of the HFC blowing agents restricted under 
EPA's SNAP regulations. Further, the most recent U.S. space flight 
program is still being developed, and it now appears that it may not be 
possible to qualify all foams needed with alternative foam blowing 
agents by the current January 1, 2022, date in order to ensure the 
safety of space vehicles. Thus, we are proposing to extend the period 
during which the narrowed use limits apply for space and aeronautics 
related applications from January 1, 2022, to January 1, 2025.
d. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    EPA is not aware of any other relevant federal rules that would be 
affected by this proposed revision to the change in status date for 
certain HFC and HFC blend foam blowing agents for space and 
aeronautics-related foam applications.
e. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on the revised date of January 1, 2025, for 
the change of status for certain HFC and HFC blend foam blowing agents 
space and aeronautics-related foam applications from acceptable, 
subject to narrowed use limits, to unacceptable.
3. Proposed Change of Status for Methylene Chloride in Flexible PU, 
Integral Skin PU, and Polyolefin Foams
    As provided in the following table, EPA is proposing to change the 
status methylene chloride from acceptable to unacceptable for multiple 
foam blowing end-uses.

 Table 20--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for Flexible PU, Integral
               Skin PU, and Polyolefin Foam Blowing Agents
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                Substitutes       Proposed decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flexible PU...................  Methylene         Unacceptable as of 30
                                 chloride.         days after
                                                   publication of a
                                                   final rule.
Integral Skin PU..............  Methylene         Unacceptable as of
                                 chloride.         January 1, 2017.
Polyolefin....................  Methylene         Unacceptable as of
                                 chloride.         January 1, 2020.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 22875]]

a. What are the affected end-uses?
    EPA is proposing to change the status of methylene chloride from 
acceptable to unacceptable when used as a blowing agent in the 
production of flexible PU foam, integral skin PU foam, and polyolefin 
foam. Flexible PU includes foam in furniture, bedding, chair cushions, 
and shoe soles. Integral skin PU includes car steering wheels, 
dashboards, and shoe soles. Polyolefin includes foam sheets and tubes.
    Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane, has the chemical 
formula CH2Cl2 and the CAS Reg. No. 75-09-2. EPA 
initially listed this substitute as acceptable for flexible PU foam and 
integral skin PU foam acceptable in the initial SNAP rule (79 FR 13044; 
March 18, 1994), and then listed it as acceptable for polyolefin foam 
on August 26, 1994 (79 FR 44240).
b. How does methylene chloride compare to other blowing agents for 
these end-uses with respect to SNAP criteria?
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; ecosystem effects, particularly from 
negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental and 
health risks (e.g., flammability, exposure, and toxicity) are discussed 
below. In addition, a technical support document \199\ that provides 
the Federal Register citations concerning data on the SNAP criteria 
(e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for these alternatives 
may be found in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \199\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. Flexible PU
(a) Environmental Impacts
    Methylene chloride contains chlorine and thus could have an ODP. We 
are unaware of a calculated ODP for methylene chloride in the peer-
reviewed literature, but it has historically been considered negligibly 
small.\200\ Recent research indicates that emissions of methylene 
chloride from multiple industrial sources have been increasing and 
could have a detectible impact on the ozone layer,\201\ despite the 
historical assumption of negligible ODP. For flexible polyurethane, 
available substitutes include acetone, Exxsol blowing agents, 
CO2, ecomateTM, HFC-152a, HFO-1336mzz(Z), 
methylal, saturated light HCs (C3-C6), trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trifluoroprop-1-ene, and water. Of the other available alternatives for 
flexible PU, only trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1ene contains 
chlorine and thus might have an ODP. Trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trifluoroprop-1-ene has an ODP of 0.00024 to 0.00034 and estimates of 
its maximum potential impact on the ozone layer indicate a 
statistically insignificant impact, comparable to that of other 
substitutes in the same end-use that are considered to be non-ozone-
depleting.202 203
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \200\ INCHEM, 1996. International Programme on Chemical Safety. 
Environmental Health Criteria 164. Methylene chloride, second 
edition. World Health Organization, 1996. This document is 
accessible online at http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc164.htm.
    \201\ Hossaini, et al., 2015. R. Hossaini, M.P. Chipperfield, 
S.A. Montzka, A. Rap, S. Dhomse, W. Feng. Efficiency of short-lived 
halogens at influencing climate through depletion of stratospheric 
ozone. Nature Geoscience, 2015. This document is accessible online 
at http://DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2363 and is reported in ``New ozone-
destroying gases on the rise; not controlled by treaty.'' 
ScienceDaily. 16 February 2015. This document is accessible online 
at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150216130241.htm.
    \202\ Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: 
Analyses of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' 
Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, 
IL. September 26, 2011.
    \203\ Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and 
Ozone Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trichloropropylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-
dimensional model.'' Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Methylene chloride has a GWP of approximately nine. As shown in 
Table 21, other acceptable alternatives have GWPs that are comparable 
or lower than methylene chloride's GWP of nine except for HFC-152a, 
which has a GWP of 124.

  Table 21--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of Methylene Chloride Compared to Other Foam Blowing Agents in Flexible PU
                             Foams, Integral Skin PU Foams, and Polyolefin Foams \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Blowing agents                  GWP             ODP                VOC                 Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Methylene Chloride.................               9         unknown  No..................  Proposed
                                                                                            unacceptable.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Flexible PU Foams
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Acetone; CO2; Ecomate; HFC-152a;              0-124       0-0.00034  No..................  No change.
 Methylal; trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
 trifluoroprop-1-ene; Water.
AB Technology; Exxsol Blowing                  >1-9               0  Yes.................  No change.
 Agents; HFO-1336mzz(Z); Methylal;
 Saturated Light Hydrocarbons C3-C6
 \1\.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Integral Skin PU Foams
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Acetone; CO2; Ecomate; Formic Acid;           0-124       0-0.00034  No..................  No change.
 HFO-1234ze; HFO-1336mzz(Z) HFC-
 152a; Methyl Formate; trans-1-
 chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene\
 1\; Water.
AB Technology; Exxsol Blowing                  >1-9               0  Yes.................  No change.
 Agents; Formic Acid; HFO-
 1336mzz(Z); Methylal; Saturated
 Light Hydrocarbons C3-C6.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Polyolefin Foams
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CO2; Ecomate; HFO-1234ze; HFC-152a;           0-124               0  No..................  No change.
 Water.
Exxsol Blowing Agents; Formic Acid;           0-120               0  Yes.................  No change.
 HFO-1234ze; HFC-152a/Saturated
 Light Hydrocarbon Blends;
 Saturated Light Hydrocarbons C3-C6.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The table does not include not-in-kind technologies listed as acceptable for the stated end-uses or
  additives combined with other acceptable blowing agents.


[[Page 22876]]

    Methylene chloride is excluded from the definition of VOC under CAA 
regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs 
to attain and maintain the NAAQS. With the exception of HCs, Exxsol 
blowing agents, HFO-1336mzz(Z), and methylal, the other alternatives 
contain compounds that are excluded from the definition of VOC. The 
manufacturer of HFO-1336mzz(Z) has petitioned EPA to exempt HFO-
1336mzz(Z) from the definition of VOC under those regulations. As 
provided in our decisions listing these substitutes as acceptable, we 
determined that emissions of these alternatives in this end use would 
not pose a significantly greater risk than that posed by foam blowing 
agents that are not VOCs.
(b) Flammability
    Methylene chloride exhibits no flash point under standard testing 
conditions and thus is considered nonflammable, although it does 
exhibit lower and upper flammability limits of 13 percent and 23 
percent, respectively. Of the various alternatives, 
ecomateTM, Exxsol blowing agents, HFC-152a, HCs, and 
methylal are flammable, and the others are nonflammable. The 
flammability hazards of the flammable compounds in this end-use can be 
adequately addressed in the process of meeting OSHA regulations and 
fire codes.
(c) Toxicity
    Health effects of concern with methylene chloride include cancer, 
liver, and kidney effects (longer-term exposure) and neurotoxic effects 
(acute exposure), in addition to irritation to the skin, eyes, and 
respiratory tract. Other alternatives for this end-use have potential 
health effects such as impacts on body weight, mononuclear infiltration 
of heart tissue, neurotoxic effects, and irritation to the skin, eyes, 
and respiratory tract; no other alternatives in this end-use have 
evidence of cancer as a health effect. Toxicity is not a significant 
concern in the workplace for methylene chloride or for the other 
available alternatives because they may be used for blowing flexible PU 
foam consistent with required or recommended workplace exposure limits. 
Workplace exposure limits for the other available alternatives range 
from 100 ppm to 5,000 ppm. Methylene chloride's workplace exposure 
limits include a PEL of 25 p.m. (8-hr TWA) and 125 ppm over a 15-minute 
period. Methylene chloride is regulated for its toxicity as a hazardous 
air pollutant under the CAA and potentially as a U-listed hazardous 
waste under RCRA (40 CFR 261.33). None of the other alternative blowing 
agents are regulated as hazardous air pollutants or as U-listed 
hazardous wastes.
    In the initial SNAP rulemaking, EPA listed methylene chloride as 
acceptable in this end-use, citing the presence of the OSHA regulations 
as sufficient to address workplace risk. Information regarding general 
population risk was not available for methylene chloride or for any of 
the other alternatives at the time EPA listed them as acceptable for 
this end use.
    Since EPA's initial listing decision for methylene chloride in 
flexible PU foam, the Agency has separately issued a health-based 
residual risk standard under section 112 of the CAA for flexible PU 
foam production. (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air 
Pollutants Residual Risk and Technology Review for Flexible 
Polyurethane Foam Production, (79 FR 48073; August 15, 2014). In that 
regulation, EPA examined the risk to the general population and 
determined to prohibit the use of HAP-based blowing products, including 
methylene chloride, as auxiliary blowing agents in flexible PU 
slabstock foam production operations at major sources. Because EPA has 
separately determined in setting a risk-based standard that methylene 
chloride cannot be used as a blowing agent by major sources for 
production of flexible PU slabstock foam, we are proposing to change 
the status of methylene chloride in this end-use on the basis that it 
poses significantly more risk than other available alternatives.
ii. Integral Skin PU
(a) Environmental Impacts
    Methylene chloride contains chlorine and thus could have an ODP. We 
are unaware of a calculated ODP for methylene chloride in the peer-
reviewed literature, but it has historically been considered negligibly 
small.\204\ Recent research indicates that emissions of methylene 
chloride from multiple industrial sources have been increasing and 
could have a detectible impact on the ozone layer,\205\ despite the 
historical assumption of negligible ODP. For integral skin PU, 
available alternatives include acetone, CO2, 
ecomateTM, Exxsol blowing agents, formic acid, HFC-152a, 
HFO-1234ze(E), HFO-1336mzz(Z), methylal, methyl formate, saturated 
light HCs (C3-C6), trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, and water. 
Of the other available alternatives for flexible PU, only trans-1-
chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1ene contains chlorine and thus might have 
an ODP. Trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene has an ODP of 0.00024 
to 0.00034 and estimates of its maximum potential impact on the ozone 
layer indicate a statistically insignificant impact, comparable to that 
of other substitutes in the same end-use that are considered to be non-
ozone-depleting.206 207
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \204\ INCHEM, 1996. International Programme on Chemical Safety. 
Environmental Health Criteria 164. Methylene chloride, second 
edition. World Health Organization, 1996. This document is 
accessible online at http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc164.htm.
    \205\ Hossaini, et al., 2015. R. Hossaini, M.P. Chipperfield, 
S.A. Montzka, A. Rap, S. Dhomse, W. Feng. Efficiency of short-lived 
halogens at influencing climate through depletion of stratospheric 
ozone. Nature Geoscience, 2015. This document is accessible online 
at http://DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2363 and is reported in ``New ozone-
destroying gases on the rise; not controlled by treaty.'' 
ScienceDaily. 16 February 2015. This document is accessible online 
at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150216130241.htm.
    \206\ Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: 
Analyses of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' 
Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, 
IL. September 26, 2011.
    \207\ Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and 
Ozone Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trichloropropylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-
dimensional model.'' Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Methylene chloride has a GWP of approximately nine. As shown in 
Table 21, other acceptable alternatives have GWPs that are comparable 
or lower than methylene chloride's GWP of nine except for HFC-152a, 
which has a GWP of 124.
    Methylene chloride is excluded from the definition of VOC under CAA 
regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs 
to attain and maintain the NAAQS. With the exception of HCs, Exxsol 
blowing agents, formic acid, HFO-1336mzz(Z), and methylal, the other 
alternatives contain compounds that are exempt from the definition of 
VOC. The manufacturer of HFO-1336mzz(Z) has petitioned EPA to exempt 
HFO-1336mzz(Z) from the definition of VOC under those regulations. As 
provided in our decisions listing these alternatives as acceptable, we 
determined that emissions of these alternatives in this end-use would 
not pose a significantly greater risk than that posed by foam blowing 
agents that are not VOCs.
(b) Flammability
    Methylene chloride exhibits no flash point under standard testing 
conditions and thus is considered nonflammable, although it does 
exhibit lower and upper flammability limits of 13 percent and 23 
percent, respectively. Of the

[[Page 22877]]

various alternatives, acetone, methyl formate, ecomateTM, 
Exxsol blowing agents, HFC-152a, HCs, and methylal are flammable, and 
CO2, formic acid, HFO-1234ze(E), HFO-1336mzz(Z), trans-1-
chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, and water are nonflammable. The 
flammability hazards of the flammable compounds in this end-use can be 
adequately addressed in the process of meeting OSHA regulations and 
fire codes.
(c) Toxicity
    Health effects of concern with methylene chloride include cancer, 
liver, and kidney effects (longer-term exposure) and neurotoxic effects 
(acute exposure), in addition to irritation to the skin, eyes, and 
respiratory tract. Other alternatives for this end-use have potential 
health effects such as impacts on body weight, mononuclear infiltration 
of heart tissue, neurotoxic effects, and irritation to the skin, eyes, 
and respiratory tract; no other alternatives in this end-use have 
evidence of cancer as a health effect. Toxicity is not a significant 
concern in the workplace for methylene chloride or for the other 
available alternatives because they may be used for blowing integral 
skin PU consistent with required or recommended workplace exposure 
limits. Workplace exposure limits for the other available alternatives 
range from 100 ppm to 5,000 ppm. Methylene chloride's workplace 
exposure limits include a PEL of 25 p.m. (8-hr TWA) and 125 ppm over a 
15-minute period. Methylene chloride is regulated for its toxicity as a 
hazardous air pollutant under the CAA and potentially as a U-listed 
hazardous waste under RCRA (40 CFR 261.33). None of the other 
alternative blowing agents are regulated as hazardous air pollutants or 
as U-listed hazardous wastes.
    Methylene chloride is the only acceptable alternative in this end-
use that is a carcinogen. On this basis, we are proposing that 
methylene chloride poses significantly greater toxicity risks than the 
other alternatives available for this end use. The risk posed by 
methylene chloride and the other alternatives based on the other SNAP 
review criteria are not significantly different. Because of the 
significantly greater toxicity risk posed by methylene chloride, we 
believe it poses significantly greater overall risk than other 
available substitutes and we are proposing to change the status to 
unacceptable.
iii. Polyolefin Foam
(a) Environmental Impacts
    Methylene chloride contains chlorine and thus could have an ODP. We 
are unaware of a calculated ODP for methylene chloride in the peer-
reviewed literature, but it has historically been considered negligibly 
small.\208\ Recent research indicates that emissions of methylene 
chloride from multiple industrial sources have been increasing and 
could have a detectible impact on the ozone layer,\209\ despite the 
historical assumption of negligible ODP. In polyolefin foam, available 
alternatives include CO2, ecomateTM, Exxsol 
blowing agents, methyl formate, HFC-152a, blends of HFC-152a and 
saturated light HCs, HFO-1234ze(E), saturated light HCs (C3-C6), trans-
1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, and water. Of the other available 
alternatives for flexible PU, only trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-
1ene contains chlorine and thus might have an ODP. Trans-1-chloro-
3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene has an ODP of 0.00024 to 0.00034 and 
estimates of its maximum potential impact on the ozone layer indicate a 
statistically insignificant impact, comparable to that of other 
substitutes in the same end-use that are considered to be non-ozone-
depleting.210 211
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \208\ INCHEM, 1996.
    \209\ Hossaini, et al., 2015. R. Hossaini, M. P. Chipperfield, 
S. A. Montzka, A. Rap, S. Dhomse, W. Feng. Efficiency of short-lived 
halogens at influencing climate through depletion of stratospheric 
ozone. Nature Geoscience, 2015; This document is accessible online 
at http://DOI:10.1038/ngeo2363 and is reported in ``New ozone-
destroying gases on the rise; not controlled by treaty.'' 
ScienceDaily. 16 February 2015. This document is accessible online 
at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150216130241.htm.
    \210\ Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: 
Analyses of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' 
Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, 
IL. September 26, 2011.
    \211\ Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and 
Ozone Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trichloropropylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-
dimensional model.'' Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Methylene chloride has a GWP of approximately nine. As shown in 
Table 21, the other acceptable substitutes have GWPs that are 
comparable or lower than methylene chloride's GWP of nine except for 
HFC-152a, which has a GWP of 124.
    Methylene chloride is excluded from the definition of VOC under CAA 
regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs 
to attain and maintain the NAAQS. With the exception of HCs, HC blends, 
and Exxsol blowing agents, the other alternatives contain compounds 
that are exempted from the definition of VOC. The manufacturer of HFO-
1336mzz(Z) has petitioned EPA to exempt HFO-1336mzz(Z) from the 
definition of VOC under those regulations. As provided in our decisions 
listing these alternatives as acceptable, we determined that emissions 
of these alternatives in this end-use would not pose a significantly 
greater risk than that posed by foam blowing agents that are not VOCs.
(b) Flammability
    Methylene chloride exhibits no flash point under standard testing 
conditions and thus is considered nonflammable, although it does 
exhibit lower and upper flammability limits of 13 percent and 23 
percent, respectively. Of the various alternatives, blends of HFC-152a 
and HCs, ecomateTM, Exxsol blowing agents, HFC-152a, HCs, 
and methyl formate are flammable, and CO2, HFO-1234ze(E), 
trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene, and water are nonflammable. 
The flammability hazards of the flammable compounds in this end-use can 
be adequately addressed in the process of meeting OSHA regulations and 
fire codes.
(c) Toxicity
    Health effects of concern with methylene chloride include cancer, 
liver, and kidney effects (longer-term exposure) and neurotoxic effects 
(acute exposure), in addition to irritation to the skin, eyes, and 
respiratory tract. Other alternatives for this end-use have potential 
health effects such as impacts on body weight, mononuclear infiltration 
of heart tissue, neurotoxic effects, and irritation to the skin, eyes, 
and respiratory tract; no other alternatives in this end-use have 
evidence of cancer as a health effect. Toxicity is not a significant 
concern in the workplace for methylene chloride or for the other 
available alternatives because they may be used for blowing polyolefin 
foam consistent with required or recommended workplace exposure limits. 
Workplace exposure limits for the other available alternatives range 
from 100 ppm to 5,000 ppm. Methylene chloride's workplace exposure 
limits include a PEL of 25 p.m. (8-hr TWA) and 125 ppm over a 15-minute 
period. Methylene chloride is regulated for its toxicity as a hazardous 
air pollutant under the CAA and potentially as a U-listed hazardous 
waste under RCRA (40 CFR 261.33). None of the other alternative blowing 
agents are regulated as hazardous air pollutants or as U-listed 
hazardous wastes.
    Methylene chloride is the only acceptable alternative in this end-
use

[[Page 22878]]

that is a carcinogen. On this basis, we are proposing that methylene 
chloride poses significantly greater toxicity risks than the other 
alternatives available for this end use. The risk posed by methylene 
chloride and the other alternatives based on the other SNAP review 
criteria are not significantly different. Because of the significantly 
greater toxicity risk posed by methylene chloride, we believe it poses 
significantly greater overall risk than other available substitutes and 
we are proposing to change the status to unacceptable.
c. When would the status change?
    EPA proposes to change the status of methylene chloride in flexible 
PU foam as of 30 days after a final rule is published in the Federal 
Register. Because this blowing agent has already been prohibited in 
flexible PU foam manufacturing operations for major sources by EPA's 
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) 
Residual Risk and Technology Review for Flexible Polyurethane Foam 
Production (79 FR 48073; August 15, 2014), we expect that most 
businesses have already transitioned away from this substitute in that 
end-use. This proposed rule does not apply to area sources.
    For integral skin PU foam and polyolefin, we propose the respective 
change of status dates to be January 1, 2017, and January 1, 2020. 
These dates are consistent with the change of status dates we 
previously established for certain HFCs in these end-uses (80 FR 42870; 
July 20, 2015). These dates were established considering factors such 
as the supply of alternatives, time required for testing of 
alternatives, and time required to prepare facilities for use of 
flammable foam blowing agents. By proposing to change the status of 
methylene chloride from acceptable to unacceptable, we expect that end-
users will consider blowing agents other than methylene chloride as 
they plan their transition away from HFCs in these end-uses.
d. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    In a recent rulemaking, National Emission Standards for Hazardous 
Air Pollutants Residual Risk and Technology Review for Flexible 
Polyurethane Foam Production, EPA prohibits the use of HAP, including 
methylene chloride, as auxiliary blowing agents in slabstock flexible 
PU foam production operations at major sources as of November 13, 2014 
(79 FR 48073; August 15, 2014). This action is consistent with that 
previously issued prohibition.
e. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on the proposed dates for a change of 
status for methylene chloride (30 days after publication of a final 
rule for flexible PU foam, January 1, 2017, for integral skin PU foam, 
and January 1, 2020, for polyolefin foam). We request comments on, the 
extent to which methylene chloride is currently being used in these 
end-uses in integral skin PU, in polyolefin, or by area sources that 
manufacture flexible PU foam and the technical challenges that exist 
for transitioning from methylene chloride to other available 
alternatives.
4. Proposed Application of Listings to Foam Products
    EPA is proposing to apply the unacceptability determinations in 
this action for foam blowing agents to closed cell foam products and 
products containing closed cell foam. In addition, EPA is proposing to 
apply all listings for foam blowing agents codified in the appendices 
to 40 CFR part 82 subpart G to such products. This would mean that 
closed cell foam products and products containing closed cell foams 
manufactured abroad and imported could not be used in the United States 
if the foam blowing agent was listed as unacceptable.
a. What are the affected end-uses?
    The foam sector includes both closed cell and open cell foams. 
Closed cell foams are specifically designed to retain the foam blowing 
agent in the cells; in insulation foam products, the foam blowing agent 
continues to perform a function in providing thermal insulation, once 
the foam has already been blown. With open cell foams, the foam blowing 
agent completes its function once the foam is blown; almost all of the 
foam blowing agent escapes from the open cells prior to import, and any 
vestigial amounts remaining do not perform a function.
    Foam blowing end-uses that contain closed-cell foams include rigid 
PU spray foam (all three applications described in section VI.C.1); 
rigid PU commercial refrigeration and sandwich panels; rigid PU marine 
flotation foam; rigid PU appliance foam; rigid PU slabstock and other; 
rigid PU and polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock; polystyrene: 
Extruded boardstock and billet; polystyrene: Extruded sheet; 
polyolefin; and phenolic insulation board and bunstock. Foam blowing 
end-uses containing open cell foams include flexible PU and integral 
skin PU. Open cell phenolic, and some other open cell foams also exist 
within the SNAP foam blowing end-uses that include closed cell foams. 
Integral skin foam may include a rigid surface with an interior 
flexible core.
b. How would this proposal change the treatment of foam products under 
SNAP?
    Currently, an unacceptable foam blowing agent may not be used to 
manufacture products in the United States, whether for domestic use or 
for export. However, products made abroad with unacceptable foam 
blowing agents may be imported and used in the United States. This is 
because EPA has historically interpreted the use prohibitions for this 
sector to apply to blowing foam with the foam blowing agent and not to 
the use of products made with foam. For example, commercial 
refrigerators containing appliance foam blown with an unacceptable 
blowing agent may be imported into and used in the United States, 
though commercial refrigerators manufactured in the United States may 
not be manufactured with foam blown with that same agent.
    If this proposal were to be finalized as proposed, use of closed 
cell foam products (e.g., manufactured rigid PU insulation or XPS 
boardstock) or products that contain closed cell foam (e.g., household 
and commercial appliances, boats) manufactured with an unacceptable 
foam blowing agent on or after the specified date would be subject to 
the use prohibitions under SNAP. This would include, but would not be 
limited to, incorporating a closed cell foam blown with an unacceptable 
blowing agent into a subsequent product and installing a closed cell 
foam product or product containing closed cell foam. Products 
manufactured prior to the specified date would not be subject to the 
use prohibitions. In addition, under this proposal the use prohibitions 
would not apply to consumers once a product had been installed.
c. How do other stratospheric ozone protection requirements apply to 
foam products?
    Several provisions of CAA Title VI and EPA's implementing 
regulations are relevant to HCFC foam products. Under regulations 
implementing CAA section 611, EPA requires labeling of products that 
contain an ODS and those that are manufactured with an ODS. EPA 
determined that open cell foams blown with an ODS must be labeled as a

[[Page 22879]]

product manufactured with an ODS. (58 FR 8136, 8143-8150, February 11, 
1993; 79 FR 64253, 64258-64259, October 28, 2014) In contrast, closed 
cell foam products blown with an ODS must be labeled as a product 
containing an ODS for labeling purposes. (58 FR 8136, 8150-8151, 
February 11, 1993; 79 FR 64253, 64258-64259, October 28, 2014) As of 
January 1, 2015, any product containing a closed cell foam blown with 
an HCFC must be labeled as a product containing an ozone-depleting 
substance under the regulations at 40 CFR 82.106 implementing CAA 
section 611.
    Section 610 restricts sale and distribution and offers of sale and 
distribution of certain products containing or manufactured with CFCs 
and HCFCs.\212\ Section 610(d)(3)(A) explicitly provides an exception 
for foam insulation products containing HCFCs. EPA has implemented this 
restriction and the exception for HCFC foam insulation products through 
its Nonessential Products Ban regulations codified at 40 CFR part 82 
subpart C. These regulations define foam insulation product as a 
product containing or consisting of the following types of foam:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \212\ Section 610 does not address products containing or 
manufactured with substitutes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Closed cell rigid polyurethane foam;
     Closed cell rigid polystyrene boardstock foam;
     Closed cell rigid phenolic foam; and
     Closed cell rigid polyethylene foam when such foam is 
suitable in shape, thickness and design to be used as a product that 
provides thermal insulation around pipes used in heating, plumbing, 
refrigeration, or industrial process systems.
    CAA section 605(a) prohibits the introduction into interstate 
commerce or use of any class II substance effective January 1, 2015, 
unless such substance: (1) Has been used, recovered, and recycled; (2) 
is used and entirely consumed (except for trace quantities) in the 
production of other chemicals; (3) is used as a refrigerant in 
appliances manufactured prior to January 1, 2020; or (4) is listed as 
acceptable for use as a fire suppression agent for nonresidential 
applications in accordance with section 612(c).
    The section 605(a) implementing regulations codified at 40 CFR part 
82, subpart A restrict the use of virgin HCFCs to air conditioning, 
refrigeration, and fire suppression applications, with minor 
exceptions. Thus, while the Nonessential Products Ban does not apply to 
HCFC insulating foams, section 605(a) and its implementing regulations 
prohibit the use of HCFCs for blowing foam in the United States. The 
combined effect of the Nonessential Products Ban and the section 605(a) 
implementing regulations is that HCFC foam insulation products may be 
imported, sold, and distributed in the United States but cannot be 
manufactured in the United States.
    In the preamble to a July 11, 2000, SNAP proposed rule, EPA 
reviewed its authority under CAA section 610 and noted that HCFC 
insulating foams were exempt from regulation under that section of the 
statute. EPA stated that ``Title VI of the Act thus does not provide 
EPA with the authority to prevent imports of products containing those 
foams'' (65 FR 42653, 42656). EPA did not, however, base this statement 
on a full examination of the various authorities under Title VI. In 
taking final action on that proposal, EPA noted that while under 
section 610 it could not ban the sale of HCFC foam insulation products, 
section 610 ``does not address EPA's ability to regulate the transition 
from use of ODS to alternatives in the manufacturing of products such 
as foam.'' EPA further noted: ``Section 612 can restrict the use of a 
substitute in a product regardless of whether or not that product is 
considered nonessential under Section 610'' (69 FR 58275, September 30, 
2004).
d. How is EPA reexamining treatment of foam products under SNAP?
    In the August 6, 2014, NPRM (79 FR 46126; 46154), EPA proposed to 
consider use of a foam blowing agent to include use of closed cell foam 
products or products containing closed cell foam. In response to that 
proposal, some commenters supported applying the unacceptability 
determinations to the use of closed cell foam products or products 
containing closed cell foam with unacceptable foam blowing agents, on 
the basis that it would maintain a ``level playing field'' for 
domestically manufactured products made with lower-GWP foam blowing 
agents that were going to compete with imported products. Some 
commenters also supported extending such a prohibition to open cell 
foams, stating that there was still some foam blowing agent left in the 
foam and citing the negative impacts of allowing cheaper imported 
products containing unacceptable foam blowing agents.
    Other commenters opposed applying unacceptability determinations to 
anything other than the act of blowing foam in the United States. These 
commenters stated that this would be a significant departure from the 
Agency's previous interpretation and suggested that EPA needed to 
explain the basis for such a change. For example, one commenter stated 
that ``without any legal rationale, EPA has proposed to reverse its 
long-standing interpretation of the Clean Air Act with respect to the 
import of products containing HCFC-141b as a foam-blowing agent.'' In 
addition, some commenters pointed out that the proposal only allowed 60 
days before this change in interpretation would apply to HCFC-141b, 
which they viewed as insufficient time to adjust. EPA did not take 
final action in the July 20, 2015, final rule (80 FR 42870) but instead 
elected to continue assessing the merits of the change.
    In this action, EPA is again proposing to apply listings and 
prohibitions for foam blowing agents to use of closed cell foam 
products and products containing closed cell foam. To the extent EPA's 
earlier statements regarding Title VI reflect an interpretation that 
the agency could not address imported closed cell foam products or 
products containing closed cell foam under any provision of Title VI, 
EPA is proposing to change that interpretation.
    Section 612 requires EPA to promulgate regulations prohibiting the 
replacement of ODS with certain substitutes and to publish lists of the 
substitutes prohibited for specific uses as well as those found 
acceptable for those uses. EPA's implementing regulations at 40 CFR 
82.174 state, in part: ``No person may use a substitute after the 
effective date of any rulemaking adding such substitute to the list of 
unacceptable substitutes'' (40 CFR 82.174(d)). The SNAP regulations 
define ``use'' of a substitute as including, but not being limited to, 
``use in a manufacturing process or product, in consumption by the end-
user, or in intermediate uses, such as formulation or packaging for 
other subsequent uses.'' (Sec.  82.172)
    EPA currently treats use of foam blowing agents in the manufacture 
of a foam product as covered by the use prohibition. In this action, 
EPA is proposing to apply the use prohibition more broadly in the case 
of closed cell foam products. With respect to other sectors, EPA has 
treated use of a product manufactured with or containing a substance as 
constituting use of the substance where the product holds some amount 
of the substance, the substance continues to perform its intended 
function, and the substance is likely to be emitted in the United 
States either during use of the product or at the time of its disposal. 
For example, an

[[Page 22880]]

aerosol can is manufactured to contain a substance as a propellant, and 
then that propellant leaks, is released by the end user during use of 
the aerosol can's contents, or is emitted at the time of disposal if it 
has not already been used up. In the July 20, 2015 SNAP rule, in 
changing the status of certain substances with respect to aerosols, EPA 
prohibited use of aerosol products containing those substances, while 
stating that products manufactured prior to the change of status date 
could still be used after that date (80 FR 42883). By analogy, we are 
proposing that ``use'' of a foam blowing agent includes use of a closed 
cell foam product manufactured after the specified date. For such 
products, the foam blowing agent remains in the cells and continues to 
be used for the purpose of insulation during the lifetime of the 
product. Furthermore, emissions of the foam blowing agent occur at the 
time of disposal of the closed cell foam product. Thus, emissions from 
a closed cell product used in the United States can be expected to 
occur in the United States regardless of whether the product was 
manufactured domestically or abroad. This proposed action would ensure 
that products manufactured abroad and subsequently imported would be 
treated the same as products manufactured domestically.
    EPA does not propose to treat use of an open cell foam product as 
constituting use of the foam blowing agent. The foam blowing agent in 
an open cell foam product does not continue to perform its intended 
function during the lifetime of the product. Except for insignificant 
amounts remaining in the cells, emissions of the foam blowing agent 
would occur at the time and place of manufacture. Therefore, we are 
proposing to differentiate between closed cell and open cell foam 
products for this purpose. This would be consistent with the different 
treatment of closed and open cell foam products under the section 611 
labeling regulations.
e. When would use of closed cell foam products with unacceptable 
blowing agents be unacceptable?
    For changes of status proposed in this rulemaking (section VI.C.1 
and VI.C.2), we are proposing that the unacceptability determination 
would apply to use of closed cell foam products and products that 
contain closed cell foam where the products are manufactured on or 
after the change of status date. As noted in the July 15, 2015 SNAP 
rule with respect to MVAC and stand-alone refrigeration equipment (80 
FR 42884), it is reasonable to allow use of products manufactured 
before the change of status date to avoid market disruption, creation 
of stranded inventory, and perverse incentives for releasing these 
substances to the environment.
    For alternatives that have already been listed as unacceptable with 
a change of status date of January 1, 2017,\213\ or earlier--namely, 
HCFC blowing agents listed as unacceptable in appendices K, M, Q, and U 
to 40 CFR part 82 subpart G, and HFC blowing agents listed as 
unacceptable for rigid PU and PIR boardstock, extruded polystyrene 
sheet, and phenolic foams in appendix U to 40 CFR part 82 subpart G--we 
are proposing that the unacceptability determination would apply to use 
of closed cell foam products and products that contain closed cell foam 
manufactured on or after the date one year after the date of 
publication of a final rule. This timing is intended to allow importers 
and international manufacturers of such products time to adjust their 
manufacture and import plans. For substitutes that have already been 
listed as unacceptable with a change of status date after January 1, 
2017--namely, HFC blowing agents listed as unacceptable in rigid PU 
slabstock and other; rigid PU appliance foam; rigid PU commercial 
refrigeration and sandwich panels; rigid PU marine flotation foam; 
polyolefin; and polystyrene extruded boardstock and billet- we are 
proposing that the unacceptability determination would apply to use of 
closed cell foam products and products that contain closed cell foam 
manufactured on or after the change of status date for each end-use 
(January 1 of 2019, 2020, or 2021). For the substitutes already listed 
as unacceptable, we are proposing to add language regarding use of 
products to the relevant tables. We do not intend to re-open the 
listing of those substitutes as unacceptable or the change of status 
dates for those substitutes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \213\ There will also be a change of status on January 1, 2017 
for flexible PU and integral skin PU, but these are open cell foams 
and are not part of this proposal for closed cell foams.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

f. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comment on all aspects of this proposal. In 
particular, we request comment on our proposal to revise our previous 
interpretation and to consider use of the foam blowing agent to include 
use of closed cell foam products and products containing closed cell 
foam. We are also taking comment on whether use of an open cell foam 
product should constitute use of the foam blowing agent. Finally, we 
request comment on the amount of time provided after which closed cell 
foam products and products containing closed cell foams manufactured on 
or after the specified dates would be subject to the use prohibitions.

D. Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection

1. Proposed Listing of 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene (2-BTP) as 
Acceptable, Subject to Use Conditions, for Total Flooding and Streaming
    EPA is proposing to list 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene 
(hereinafter referred to as 2-BTP) as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, for use in engine nacelles and APUs on aircraft in total 
flooding fire suppression systems. In addition, EPA proposes to list 2-
BTP as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for use in aircraft as a 
streaming agent. EPA is reviewing additional potential fire suppression 
applications for 2-BTP but is not taking action on those other uses in 
this proposed rule.
a. What are the affected end-uses?
    The fire suppression and explosion protection end-uses addressed in 
this action are total flooding and streaming. Total flooding systems, 
which historically employed halon 1301 as a fire suppression agent, are 
used in both normally occupied and unoccupied areas. In the United 
States, approximately 90 percent of installed total flooding systems 
protect anticipated hazards from ordinary combustibles (i.e., Class A 
fires), while the remaining ten percent protect against applications 
involving flammable liquids and gases (i.e., Class B fires).\214\ It is 
also estimated that approximately 75 percent of total flooding systems 
protect electronics (e.g., computers, telecommunications, process 
control areas) while the remaining 25 percent protect other 
applications, primarily in civil aviation (e.g., engine nacelles/APUs, 
cargo compartments, lavatory trash receptacles), military weapons 
systems (e.g., combat vehicles, machinery spaces on ships, aircraft 
engines and tanks), oil/gas and manufacturing industries (e.g., gas/oil 
pumping, compressor stations), and maritime (e.g., machinery space, 
cargo pump rooms). Streaming applications, which have historically used 
halon 1211 as an extinguishing agent, include portable fire

[[Page 22881]]

extinguishers designed to protect against specific hazards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \214\ Wickham, 2002. Status of Industry Efforts to Replace Halon 
Fire Extinguishing Agents. March, 2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. How does 2-BTP compare to other fire suppressants for these end-uses 
with respect to SNAP criteria?
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \215\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for acceptable alternatives in the relevant end-uses may be found in 
the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \215\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

i. Total Flooding
(a) Environmental Impacts
    In addition to halon 1301, the current market for total flooding 
systems also includes HCFCs, HFCs, inert gases, and a variety of NIK 
extinguishing agents (e.g., powdered aerosols, foams, water).\216\ 2-
BTP has a GWP of 0.23-0.26 and a lower climate impact compared to other 
alternatives (e.g., HFC-227ea) used as total flooding and streaming 
agents. As shown in Table 22, the GWPs of other total flooding 
alternatives range from <1 to 3,500.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \216\ ICF, 2016h. Market Characterization for Fire Suppression, 
Comfort Cooling, Cold Storage, and Household Refrigeration 
Industries in the United States. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency. October 2015.

        Table 22--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of 2-BTP Compared to Other Total Flooding and Streaming Agents
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Fire suppressants                 GWP             ODP                VOC                 Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2-BTP..............................   \1\ 0.23-0.26          0.0028  Yes.................  Acceptable, subject
                                                                                            to use conditions.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Total flooding
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FK-5-1-12mmy2 (C6 Perfluoroketone).              <1               0  Yes.................  No change.
CF3I...............................             0.4           0.008  Yes.................  No change.
CO2................................               1               0  No..................  No change.
HCFC Blend A \2\...................           1,546           0.048  No..................  No change.
HFC-227ea..........................           3,220               0  No..................  No change.
HFC-125............................           3,500               0  No..................  No change.
Water, Inert gases, Powdered                      0               0  No..................  No change.
 aerosols A-E.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Streaming
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HCFC Blend B \3\...................              77         0.00098  No..................  No change.
HFC-227ea..........................           3,220               0  No..................  No change.
HFC-236fa..........................           9,810               0  No..................  No change.
FK-5-1-12mmy2 (C6 Perfluoroketone).              <1               0  Yes.................  No change.
CF3I...............................             0.4           0.008  Yes.................  No change.
CO2................................               1               0  No..................  No change.
Water..............................               0               0  No..................  No change.
H Galden HFPEs.....................     2,790-6,230               0  No..................  No change.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ GWP range represents GWPs for 30[deg]N to 60[deg]N and 60[deg]S to 60[deg]N emissions scenarios for a 100-
  year time horizon. A tropospherically well-mixed approximation of the GWP is equal to 0.59.\217\
\2\ HCFC Blend A is a blend consisting of HCFC-123 (4.75%), HCFC-22 (82%), HCFC-124 (9.5%), and D-limonene
  (3.75%).
\3\ HCFC Blend B is a proprietary blend consisting largely of HCFC-123.

    In addition to global impacts on the atmosphere, EPA evaluated 
potential impacts of emissions of 2-BTP on local air quality. 2-BTP is 
a VOC and is not excluded from that definition under CAA regulations 
(see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs to attain and 
maintain the NAAQS. EPA compared the annual VOC emissions from the use 
of 2-BTP as a total flooding agent to other anthropogenic sources of 
VOC emissions considering both worst case and more realistic scenarios. 
Under either scenario, emissions are a small fraction of a percentage 
(5.6 x 10\-5\ percent to 2.1 x 10\-3\ percent) of all anthropogenic VOC 
emissions in the United States in 2014.218 219 Given this 
emission level, we determined it was not necessary to perform an 
assessment of the effect of these emissions on ambient ozone levels; 
any effect would be insignificant. This is particularly true since most 
releases of 2-BTP are expected to be at altitude, not in the lower 
troposphere. Other acceptable fire suppression agents currently in use 
in this end-use are also VOC (e.g., C6-perfluoroketone), and thus, use 
of 2-BTP would not pose more risk than use of other alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \217\ Patten et al., 2012. Correction to ``OH reaction rate 
constant, IR absorption spectrum, ozone depletion potentials and 
global warming potentials of 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene,'' J. 
Geophys. Res., 117, D22301, doi:10.1029/2012JD019051.
    \218\ ICF, 2016j. Analysis of annual VOC emissions from the use 
of 2-BTP.
    \219\ Based on the 2014 annual total VOC emissions for the 
United States (i.e., approximately 17.13x10\6\ MT) as reported in 
the National Emissions Inventory (EPA, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(b) Flammability
    2-BTP is nonflammable, as are all other available total flooding 
agents.
(c) Toxicity
    When identifying potential alternatives, toxicity is an important 
characteristic to consider for manufacturing personnel, service 
technicians, and end users. Typical concerns include residual oxygen 
concentration in the protected space

[[Page 22882]]

after discharge and cardiac effects as a consequence of absorption of 
the agent into the bloodstream.
    EPA has evaluated the risks associated with potential exposures to 
2-BTP during production operations and the filling of fire 
extinguishers as well as in the case of an inadvertent discharge of the 
system during maintenance activities on the fire extinguishing system. 
EPA's review of the human health impacts of 2-BTP, including the 
summary of available toxicity studies, and EPA's review of the human 
health impacts of 2-BTP is in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-
OAR-2015-0663).220 221
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \220\ ICF, 2016k. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Fire Extinguishing and Explosion Prevention Sector. Risk Screen on 
Substitutes as a Streaming Agent in Civil Aviation Applications. 
Substitute: 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene (2-BTP).
    \221\ ICF, 2016l. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Fire Extinguishing and Explosion Prevention Sector. Risk Screen on 
Substitutes for Total Flooding Systems in Unoccupied Spaces. 
Substitute: 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene (2-BTP).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to the MSDS, exposure to 2-BTP through ocular or dermal 
absorption, inhalation, or ingestion is unlikely to be harmful. 
However, the most likely pathway of exposure is through inhalation, 
which may cause central nervous system effects, such as dizziness, 
confusion, physical incoordination, drowsiness, anesthesia, or 
unconsciousness. EPA uses the NOAEL value as the basis to ensure 
protection to the worker population. The cardiotoxic Lowest-Observed-
Adverse-Effect-Level (LOAEL) for this agent is 1.0 percent (10,000 
ppm), at which level exposure may cause increased sensitivity of the 
heart to adrenaline, which might cause irregular heartbeats and 
possibly ventricular fibrillation or death; the cardiotoxic NOAEL for 
this agent is 0.5 percent (5,000 ppm).
    2-BTP vapors are heavier than air and may reduce oxygen available 
for breathing, causing asphyxiation in high concentrations. Such vapors 
pose a potential hazard if large volumes are trapped in enclosed or low 
places. In addition, as noted above, if person(s) are exposed to high 
concentrations, the person(s) may experience central nervous system 
effects, such as drowsiness and dizziness, which may result in the 
person(s) not realizing that he/she is suffocating. These health 
effects after exposure are similar for other common fire suppressants.
    Employees responsible for manufacturing the systems should wear the 
appropriate PPE, such as protective gloves, tightly sealed goggles, 
protective work clothing, and suitable respiratory protection in case 
of accidental release or insufficient ventilation. Use of respirators 
is recommended during activities in which exposure to the proposed 
substitute cannot be controlled through other means. When handling a 
leak in a storage container, protective clothing is recommended as well 
as vapor-in air detection systems. Gloves (i.e., neoprene, polyvinyl 
chloride, or polyvinyl alcohol) should be worn when handling equipment 
containing the proposed substitute for prolonged periods.
    For operations requiring regular handling of 2-BTP, engineering 
controls should include adequate ventilation systems and enclosed or 
confined operations to ensure exposure levels to the proposed 
substitute are below the occupational AEL. 2-BTP is not expected to 
pose a risk to workers when the engineering controls and PPE 
recommendations referenced in the MSDS for this proposed substitute are 
followed.
    Exposure to 2-BTP is not likely during installation or servicing of 
2-BTP total flooding systems for engines and APUs on aircraft. These 
are both considered to be unoccupiable areas, meaning personnel cannot 
physically occupy these spaces, thus reducing the risk from exposure to 
an inadvertent discharge. The risk of accidental activation of the fire 
extinguishing system while personnel are present near the protected 
space is highly unlikely if proper procedures, including those of the 
2-BTP system manufacturer as well as the aircraft manufacturer, are 
followed. Instructions on system installation and servicing included in 
manuals for the 2-BTP systems should be adhered to. In the case of an 
inadvertent discharge of the system during maintenance activities on 
the fire extinguishing system or surrounding equipment, the cowl doors 
that would be open to allow access to the area will allow personnel to 
immediately egress and avoid exposure. Protective gloves and tightly 
sealed goggles should be worn for installation and servicing 
activities, to protect workers in any event of potential discharge of 
the proposed substitute, accidental or otherwise. Filling or servicing 
operations should be performed in well-ventilated areas.
    2-BTP is not expected to cause a significant risk to human health 
in the general population when used as a total flooding fire 
extinguishing agent. Disposal of 2-BTP total flooding systems is 
subject to local, state, and federal regulations, which ensure that 2-
BTP and water contaminated with 2-BTP are not be dumped into sewers, on 
the ground, or into any body of water, but rather taken to a wastewater 
treatment facility or disposed of properly. 2-BTP is not considered to 
be hazardous waste under EPA regulations implementing RCRA.
    EPA's evaluation indicates that the use of 2-BTP is not expected to 
pose a significant toxicity risk to personnel or the general 
population. 2-BTP is not expected to cause a significant risk to human 
health in the general population when used as a total flooding fire 
extinguishing agent in systems designed specifically for engines and 
APUs on aircraft. Exposure to 2-BTP is not likely for technicians 
during installation or servicing of 2-BTP total flooding systems for 
engines and APUs. As indicated by the submitter, the risk of accidental 
activation of the fire extinguishing system while personnel are present 
near the protected space is highly unlikely if proper procedures are 
followed. Proper instructions on system installation and servicing 
included in manuals for the 2-BTP systems should be adhered to. The 
locations of the 2-BTP bottles in the engine and APU compartments will 
vary by airplane model. The engine bottles could be installed inside or 
outside the pressurized volume, but they are connected through piping 
to the engines. APU bottles are typically installed forward of the APU 
firewall, outside of the pressurized volume of the plane. The bottles 
are hermetically sealed and the piping system is pressure tested, 
mitigating the potential for any leak of 2-BTP from the system. 
According to the submitter, in the case of an inadvertent discharge of 
the system during maintenance activities on the fire extinguishing 
system or surrounding equipment, the cowl doors that would be open to 
allow access to the area will allow service personnel to immediately 
egress and avoid exposure. Furthermore, aircraft maintenance procedures 
provide specific instruction to prevent accidental discharge of 2-BTP 
systems. It is expected that procedures identified in the MSDS for 2-
BTP and good manufacturing practices will be adhered to, and that the 
appropriate safety and PPE (e.g., protective gloves, tightly sealed 
goggles, protective work clothing, and suitable respiratory protection 
in case of accidental release or insufficient ventilation) consistent 
with OSHA guidelines will be used, as applicable, during manufacture 
and disposal of 2-BTP total flooding systems.
    The toxicity risks can be minimized through the use conditions 
specified in section VI.D.c below. The risks after exposure are common 
to many total

[[Page 22883]]

flooding agents, including those already listed as acceptable under 
SNAP for this same end-use such as C6-perfluoroketone. EPA is proposing 
to find 2-BTP acceptable, subject to use conditions, as a total 
flooding agent for use in engine nacelles and APUs on aircraft because 
the overall environmental and human health risk posed by the substitute 
is lower than or comparable to the overall risk posed by other 
alternatives listed as acceptable in the same end-use.
ii. Streaming Uses
(a) Environmental Impacts
    In addition to halon 1211, the current market for streaming 
applications also includes HCFCs, HFCs, and a variety of other agents 
(e.g., dry chemical, CO2, water).\222\ Specific alternatives 
used for streaming uses include HCFC Blend B (with an ODP of roughly 
0.01 and a GWP of roughly 80), HFC-227ea (with an ODP of zero and a GWP 
of 3,220), and C7 Fluoroketone (with an ODP of zero and a GWP of 
approximately one). The ODP, GWP, and atmospheric lifetime of 2-BTP and 
other alternatives that are also used as total flooding agents are 
described above under total flooding applications. 2-BTP has a lower 
climate impact a shorter atmospheric lifetime compared to other 
alternatives in this end-use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \222\ ICF, 2016h. Market Characterization for Fire Suppression, 
Comfort Cooling, Cold Storage, and Household Refrigeration 
Industries in the United States. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency. October 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regarding local air quality impacts, EPA compared the annual VOC 
emissions from the use of 2-BTP as a streaming agent to other 
anthropogenic sources of VOC emissions considering both worst case and 
more realistic scenarios. Under either scenario, emissions are a small 
fraction of a percentage (7.4 x 10-5 percent to 2.1 x 
10-3 percent) of all anthropogenic VOC emissions in the 
United States in 2014.\223\ Given this emission level, we determined it 
was not necessary to perform an assessment of the effect of these 
emissions on ambient ozone levels; any effect would be insignificant. 
This is particularly true since most releases of 2-BTP are expected to 
be at altitude, not in the lower troposphere. Other acceptable fire 
suppression agents currently in use in this end-use are also VOC (e.g., 
C6-perfluoroketone, C7-fluoroketone), and thus, use of 2-BTP would not 
pose more risk than use of other alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \223\ ICF, 2016j. Analysis of annual VOC emissions from the use 
of 2-BTP.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(b) Flammability
    2-BTP is nonflammable, as are all other available streaming agents.
(c) Toxicity
    EPA evaluated occupational and general population exposure at 
manufacture and at end-use to ensure that the use of 2-BTP as a 
streaming agent will not pose unacceptable risks to workers or the 
general public. EPA has evaluated the risks associated with potential 
exposures to 2-BTP during production operations and the filling of fire 
extinguishers as well as in the case of an inadvertent discharge of the 
fire extinguisher during maintenance activities.
    2-BTP is not expected to pose a risk to workers during manufacture 
when the engineering controls and PPE requirements as also referenced 
in the MSDS for this proposed substitute are followed as described 
below in section VI.D.1.c.i. The combination of appropriate engineering 
controls and the use of PPE will ensure exposure levels to the proposed 
substitute are below the occupational AEL. Exposure to 2-BTP is not 
likely during installation or servicing of 2-BTP fire extinguishers. As 
indicated by the submitter, the risk of accidental activation of the 
fire extinguisher while personnel are present in the protected space is 
highly unlikely if proper procedures are followed. Proper instructions 
on system installation and servicing included in manuals for the 2-BTP 
systems should be adhered to.
    EPA also assessed potential end-use exposure scenario, 15-minute 
and 30-minute TWA exposures for 2-BTP following potential release of 
agent from the handheld extinguisher on-board aircraft. These exposures 
were then compared to the cardiotoxic LOAEL for 2-BTP. The modeled 15-
minute and 30-minute exposures for varying ventilation rates were 
significantly lower than the LOAEL of 10,000 ppm for 2-BTP, as well as 
below the NOAEL of 5,000 ppm. 2-BTP handheld extinguishers must follow 
required minimum room volumes established by UL 2129, Halocarbon Clean 
Agent Fire Extinguishers,\224\ when discharged into a confined space. 
This standard prohibits the exceedance of the cardiotoxic LOAEL for any 
fire suppressant (i.e., 10,000 ppm or 1.0% for 2-BTP). Therefore, per 
UL 2129, labels for 2-BTP extinguishers will contain the statement, 
``Do not use in confined spaces less than 896 cubic feet per 
extinguisher.'' Based on the above results, 2-BTP is not expected to 
pose significant risk to end users when used as a streaming fire 
extinguishing agent in aircraft.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \224\ UL, 2005. Standard 2129--Halocarbon Clean Agent Fire 
Extinguishers. This document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=2129_2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are various precautions described above, but the actual use 
conditions are described below. The general population risks during 
release or disposal of the agent are described in section VI.D.1.b 
above. The risks after exposure are common to many streaming agents, 
including those already listed as acceptable under SNAP for this same 
end-use, such as C6-perfluoroketone. EPA is proposing to find 2-BTP 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, as a streaming agent on aircraft 
because the overall environmental and human health risk posed by the 
substitute is lower than or comparable to the overall risk posed by 
other alternatives listed as acceptable in the same end-use.
c. What are the proposed use conditions?
i. Engine Nacelles and APU Fire Suppression Systems on Aircraft Only
    EPA is proposing to add 2-BTP to the list of acceptable total 
flooding substitutes, subject to use conditions. For the total flooding 
end-use, the proposed use conditions would require that 2-BTP be used 
only for engine nacelles and APU on aircraft.
ii. Handheld Extinguishers in Aircraft Only
    For the streaming end-use, the use condition would require that 2-
BTP be used only for handheld extinguishers in aircraft.
d. What further information is EPA providing in the acceptable subject 
to use conditions listing for 2-BTP?
    In the ``Further Information'' column of the regulatory listing, 
EPA is providing the following additional information for 
establishments manufacturing, installing and maintaining total flooding 
systems using this agent:
     This agent should be used in accordance with the safety 
guidelines in the latest edition of the National Fire Protection 
Association (NFPA) 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing 
Systems;
     In the case that 2-BTP is inhaled, person(s) should be 
immediately removed and exposed to fresh air; if breathing is 
difficult, person(s) should seek medical attention;
     In case of ocular exposure, person(s) should immediately 
flush the eyes, including under the eyelids, with

[[Page 22884]]

fresh water and move to a non-contaminated area, and medical attention 
should be sought if irritation develops or persists;
     Eye wash and quick drench facilities should be available. 
In case of ocular exposure, person(s) should immediately flush the 
eyes, including under the eyelids, with fresh water and move to a non-
contaminated area; Exposed persons should remove all contaminated 
clothing and footwear to avoid irritation; and medical attention should 
be sought if irritation develops or persists;
     Although unlikely, in case of ingestion of 2-BTP, the 
person(s) should consult a physician immediately;
     Manufacturing space should be equipped with specialized 
engineering controls and well ventilated with a local exhaust system 
and low-lying source ventilation to effectively mitigate potential 
occupational exposure; regular testing and monitoring of the workplace 
atmosphere should be conducted;
     Employees responsible for chemical processing should wear 
the appropriate PPE, such as protective gloves, tightly sealed goggles, 
protective work clothing, and suitable respiratory protection in case 
of accidental release or insufficient ventilation;
     All spills should be cleaned up immediately in accordance 
with good industrial hygiene practices; and
     Training for safe handling procedures should be provided 
to all employees that would be likely to handle containers of the agent 
or extinguishing units filled with the agent.
     Safety features that are typical of total flooding systems 
such as pre-discharge alarms, time delays, and system abort switches 
should be provided, as directed by applicable OSHA regulations and NFPA 
standards. Use of this agent should also conform to relevant OSHA 
requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, subpart L, sections 1910.160 and 
1910.162.
    In the ``Further Information'' column of the regulatory listing, 
EPA is providing the following additional information for 
establishments manufacturing, installing and maintaining streaming 
agents:
     This agent should be used in accordance with the latest 
edition of NFPA Standard 10 for Portable Fire Extinguishers;
     In the case that 2-BTP is inhaled, person(s) should be 
immediately removed and exposed to fresh air; if breathing is 
difficult, person(s) should seek medical attention;
     Eye wash and quick drench facilities should be available. 
In case of ocular exposure, person(s) should immediately flush the 
eyes, including under the eyelids, with fresh water and move to a non-
contaminated area. Exposed person(s) should remove all contaminated 
clothing and footwear to avoid irritation, and medical attention should 
be sought if irritation develops or persists;
     Although unlikely, in case of ingestion of 2-BTP, the 
person(s) should consult a physician immediately;
     Manufacturing space should be equipped with specialized 
engineering controls and well ventilated with a local exhaust system 
and low-lying source ventilation to effectively mitigate potential 
occupational exposure; regular testing and monitoring of the workplace 
atmosphere should be conducted;
     Employees responsible for chemical processing should wear 
the appropriate PPE, such as protective gloves, tightly sealed goggles, 
protective work clothing, and suitable respiratory protection in case 
of accidental release or insufficient ventilation;
     All spills should be cleaned up immediately in accordance 
with good industrial hygiene practices;
     Training for safe handling procedures should be provided 
to all employees that would be likely to handle containers of the agent 
or extinguishing units filled with the agent;
     2-BTP use as a streaming fire extinguishing agent in 
handheld extinguishers on aircraft should be in accordance with UL 711, 
Rating and Testing of Fire Extinguishers \225\ and the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) Minimum Performance Standard for Hand-Held 
Extinguishers (DOT/FAA/AR-01/37),\226\ with regard to the size and 
number of extinguishers depending on the size of aircraft. 2-BTP 
handheld extinguishers should also follow required minimum room volumes 
established by UL 2129, Halocarbon Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers, when 
discharged into a confined space.\227\ This standard prohibits the 
exceedance of the cardiotoxic LOAEL for any fire suppressant (i.e., 
10,000 ppm or 1.0 percent for 2-BTP).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \225\ UL, 2004. Standard 711--Rating and Testing of Fire 
Extinguishers. This document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=711_7.
    \226\ FAA, 2002. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Minimum 
Performance Standard for Hand-Held Extinguishers. This document is 
accessible at: http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/01-37.pdf.
    \227\ UL, 2005. Standard 2129--Halocarbon Clean Agent Fire 
Extinguishers. This document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=2129_2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

e. When would the listing apply?
    EPA proposes that this listing would apply 30 days after the date 
of publication of a final rule. This date, the same as the proposed 
effective date of this regulation, allows for the safe use of this 
substitute at the earliest opportunity.
f. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    As required for a new chemical, the manufacturer of this agent 
submitted a Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Premanufacture Notice 
(PMN) for review by EPA. The PMN, designated as P-14-260, has completed 
EPA review and the manufacturer is presently subject to requirements 
contained in a TSCA section 5(e) Consent Order. Other future 
manufacturers and processors will be subject to a TSCA section 5(a)(2) 
Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) that is expected to be promulgated in 
2016. The requirements of the consent order and SNUR would apply to all 
commercial manufacturing, processing, distribution in commerce, use and 
disposal of 2-BTP, unless exempted. Consistent with today's proposed 
listing, the consent order and SNUR will require use of 2-BTP for 
aircraft either (1) as a total flooding agent in engine nacelles and 
APUs on aircraft or (2) as a streaming agent in handheld extinguishers 
in aircraft. As noted above in section VI.D.1.d, FAA has issued 
guidance on the use of hand-held fire extinguishers on aircraft that is 
relevant to the streaming uses proposed in this rule.
g. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA is requesting comment on all aspects of the proposed listing 
decision, including the proposed use conditions.
2. Proposed Change of Status for Certain Perfluorocarbons
    As described in Table 23, EPA is proposing to change the listings 
from acceptable to unacceptable for C3F8 (PFC-
218) and C4F10 (PFC-410) in total flooding 
systems. We note that these changes of status apply to the manufacture 
of new equipment using these agents. Existing equipment that contains 
these agents may continue to be used for the remaining lifetime of the 
equipment.

[[Page 22885]]



    Table 23--Proposed Change of Status Decisions for Total Flooding
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                Substitutes       Proposed decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding...............  PFCs (C3F8 and    Unacceptable as of one
                                C4F10).           year after publication
                                                  of a final rule.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

a. What is the affected end-use?
    The fire suppression and explosion protection end-uses addressed in 
this action is total flooding. The fire suppression industry has 
historically used halons, a class of halogenated chemicals containing 
bromine, as clean extinguishing agents (i.e., those that do not leave 
residue following system discharge) in many different applications. 
Halon 1301 has been used in fixed total flooding systems.
    Halons have a unique combination of characteristics including being 
electrically non-conductive, dissipating rapidly without residue (i.e., 
clean), efficiently extinguishing most types of fires, and low 
toxicity. These agents are extremely effective on ordinary 
combustibles, flammable liquids and gases, and electrical fires (i.e., 
Class A, Class B, and Class C fires, respectively). These 
characteristics allowed halon systems to be widely used to effectively 
protect valuable and sensitive assets in locations such as computer and 
control rooms, electronic data processing facilities, museums, military 
equipment, shipboard machinery, space, aircraft, and oil and gas 
industry facilities.
    Halons have very high ODPs because they contain bromine, which has 
a higher reactivity with ozone than chlorine. Specifically, the ODP of 
halon 1301 is 15.9.\228\ EPA banned the production and import of newly 
produced halons beginning January 1, 1994 (58 FR 65018; December 10, 
1993) consistent with the requirements of the CAA and the Montreal 
Protocol. In addition, EPA issued regulations codified at 40 CFR part 
82 subpart H to reduce emissions of halon through technician training 
and proper disposal. The U.S. fire suppression industry supported the 
phase out of halon production by working to find effective substitutes 
and to reduce unnecessary emissions of halon. Recycled halon is relied 
on for continuing uses of halons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \228\ WMO, 2011. Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010, 
Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project. Geneva, Switzerland, 
2011. This document is accessible at: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/ozone/2010/report.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to the early 1994 phaseout of halon production, 
industry took early actions to find alternatives including less ozone-
depleting HCFCs, non-ozone-depleting HFCs, as well as a variety of 
lower-GWP or no-GWP alternatives (e.g., inert gases, CO2, 
powdered aerosols, foams, water). Industry also took actions to 
minimize emissions and halon recycling emerged as an important 
initiative to both reduce unnecessary emissions, and to ensure supplies 
of halons during the transition. Other efforts included changes to 
national and international fire codes and standards to discourage the 
use of halons for testing and training while supporting the adoption of 
the alternatives listed as acceptable in fire suppression and explosion 
protection by EPA's SNAP program.
b. Which fire suppressants is EPA proposing to list as unacceptable?
    EPA is proposing to list C4F10 (PFC-410) and 
C3F8 (PFC-218) as unacceptable in certain uses 
for which they are currently listed as acceptable subject to narrowed 
use limits.
c. How do the proposed unacceptable fire suppressants compare to other 
fire suppressants for this end-use with respect to SNAP criteria?
    The SNAP program considers a number of environmental criteria when 
evaluating substitutes: ODP; climate effects, primarily based on GWP; 
local air quality impacts, particularly potential impacts on smog 
formation from emissions of VOC; and ecosystem effects, particularly 
from negative impacts on aquatic life. These and other environmental 
and health risks are discussed below. In addition, a technical support 
document \229\ that provides the Federal Register citations concerning 
data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for acceptable alternatives in the relevant end-uses may be found in 
the docket for this rulemaking (EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \229\ EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses 
Considered in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes 
under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Environmental Impacts
    PFCs are fully fluorinated compounds, unlike CFCs, HCFCs, or HFCs. 
These chemicals have an ODP of zero, are excluded from the definition 
of VOC under CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the 
development of SIPs to attain and maintain the NAAQS, and have high 
GWPs (5,000-10,000 times greater than CO2). Although the 
actual contributions to global warming depend upon the quantities 
emitted, because of their long atmospheric lifetimes, the warming 
effects of PFCs are essentially irreversible. As discussed in Section 
III above and in EPA's Endangerment Finding (74 FR 66496; December 7, 
2009), EPA determined that PFCs are one of the six key well-mixed 
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere--in addition to CO2, 
CH4, N2O, HFCs, and SF6--whose current 
and projected concentrations were found to threaten the public health 
and welfare of current and future generations.

          Table 24--GWP, ODP, and VOC Status of C3F8, and C4F10 Compared to Other Total Flooding Agents
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Fire suppressants                GWP             ODP               VOC                  Proposal
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Total flooding
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C3F8, C4F10......................     8,830-8,860               0  No................  Unacceptable.
CF3I.............................             0.4           0.008  Yes...............  No change.
FK-5-1-12mmy2....................              <1               0  No................  No change.
HCFC-124, HCFC Blend A...........       610-1,550      0.048-0.22  No................  No change.
Halotron II, HFC-125, HFC-227ea..     1,600-3,500               0  No................  No change.
HFC-236fa........................           9,810               0  No................  No change.
HFC-23...........................          14,800               0  No................  No change.

[[Page 22886]]

 
Water, Inert gases, Powdered                    0               0  No................  No change.
 aerosols A-E.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Streaming
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C6F14............................           9,300               0  No................  Unacceptable.
CO2..............................               1               0  No................  No change.
C7 fluoroketone, FK-5-1-12mmy2...              <1               0  No................  No change.
HCFC Blend B, HCFC-123, HCFC-124.        77-1,546   0.00098-0.048  No................  No change.
HFC-227ea, HFC-236fa.............     3,220-9,810               0  No................  No change.
H Galden HFPEs...................     2,790-6,230               0  No................  No change.
Water............................               0               0  No................  No change.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As shown in Table 24, C3F8 has a GWP of 
8,830. EPA found the substitute acceptable only in those limited 
instances where no other alternative is technically feasible due to 
performance or safety requirements (60 FR 31092; July 13, 1995). 
C4F10 has a GWP of 8,860. Because of similar 
concerns including the GWPs, EPA listed these as substitutes that would 
be used as a last resort. Other commonly-used alternatives for total 
flooding applications have lower GWPs including HFC-227ea (with GWP of 
3,220), HFC-125 (with a GWP of 3,500), and C6 Fluoroketone 
(with a GWP of approximately one).
(b) Flammability
    C3F8 and C4F10 are non-
flammable, like all other fire suppression agents listed as acceptable 
under SNAP.
(c) Toxicity
    In evaluating the toxicity concerns with fire suppression agents, 
we evaluate consumer and worker exposures to discharges of substitutes 
during fire emergencies and accidental discharges. In these acute, 
episodic exposures to the substitutes, cardiac sensitization is of 
particular interest. The term cardiac sensitization refers to an 
increased susceptibility of the heart to adrenaline (or other 
catecholamines) which may result in potentially fatal heart 
arrhythmias. Human heart arrhythmias and sudden deaths resulting from 
overexposure to CFCs, halons, and other halogenated hydrocarbons have 
been documented in workplace settings.
    The determination of the toxicity risk to either workers or the 
general population from an accidental discharge of either a flooding or 
streaming agent substitute is also dependent on a number of other 
related factors. For total flood systems, the magnitude of exposure 
will depend on the design concentration of the flooding agent (as 
determined by the substitute's extinguishing concentration plus a 
safety factor, as specified by NFPA guidelines) and the length of time 
it takes a person to evacuate the area in which the agent is released. 
Because total flood systems are designed to achieve a uniform 
concentration of agent within a space, the magnitude of exposure is 
independent of the size of space, size of fire, or proximity of person 
to the fire. In assessing exposure the design concentration of a total 
flood substitute is compared to its cardiotoxic NOAEL and LOAEL levels. 
Generally, for occupied areas, if the design concentration is higher 
than the agent's NOAEL level, conditions are placed on the use of the 
agent to ensure human safety (e.g., lower time allowed for safe 
egress).
    Compared to other substitutes in the same total flooding end-use, 
these PFCs have lower toxicity profiles. The cardiotoxic NOAEL for 
C4F10 is 40 percent which is well above its 
demonstrated extinguishing concentration of 5.5 percent in total flood 
applications, indicating its safe use in occupied areas. The 
cardiotoxic NOAEL for C3F8 is 30 percent which is 
also well above its demonstrated extinguishing concentration of 7.3 
percent with cup burner tests in heptane (with a resulting design 
concentration of 8.8 percent), also indicating its safe use in occupied 
areas. In comparison, HFC-227ea has a cardiotoxic NOAEL of nine percent 
and an extinguishing concentration of 5.2 percent (minimum 
extinguishing concentration for Class A fires) and C6-perfluoroketone 
has a cardiotoxic NOAEL of ten percent and an extinguishing 
concentration of 3.5 percent (minimum extinguishing concentration for 
Class A fires). For HFC-227ea and C6-perfluoroketone, the 
concentrations needed to extinguish typical Class A fires are below the 
NOAEL. In addition, NFPA 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Extinguishing 
Systems contains the times for safe human exposure at specific 
concentrations for both HFC-227ea and C6-pefluoroketone in order to 
allow safe egress of personnel from the protected space in the event of 
a system discharge. Current industry practices include additional 
safeguards for these systems such as pre-discharge alarms and time-
delays. While C4F10 and 
C3F8 have lower toxicity profiles, the greater 
toxicity risks of the other alternatives for the same end-uses are 
mitigated by requirements as established in NFPA 2001, which requires 
that the alternative have first been reviewed in a process equivalent 
to that used by SNAP and then provides the minimum requirements for the 
safe design, installation, maintenance, and operation of total flooding 
systems using clean agent alternatives such as HFC-227ea and C6-
perfluoroketone.
    In comparing the environmental and health risks of 
C3F8 and C4F10 with other 
alternatives in the same total flooding end-use, 
C3F8 and C4F10 both have 
higher GWPs. While C3F8 and 
C4F10 have lower toxicity profiles, the greater 
toxicity of other alternatives in the same end-use are mitigated by the 
fact that requirements for safe use of these alternatives are contained 
in fire protection industry standards (e.g., NFPA 2001). Other criteria 
are comparable to many agents already listed as acceptable under SNAP 
for this end-use. Because the GWPs for C3F8 and 
C4F10 are significantly higher and thus pose 
significantly greater risk than other alternatives in the same end-use, 
we are proposing to list C3F8 and 
C4F10 as unacceptable for total flooding 
applications.
(d) Summary
    EPA has listed as acceptable several substitutes that pose lower 
overall risk to human health and the environment than the two fire 
suppression alternatives, C3F8 and 
C4F10, whose status we are proposing to change to

[[Page 22887]]

unacceptable. The risks other than GWP are not significantly different 
for the other available alternatives in the same total flooding end-use 
than for the fire suppression agents we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable. Neither the substitutes we are proposing to list as 
unacceptable nor the other available alternatives pose a significantly 
greater risk based on toxicity because all may be used consistent with 
NFPA 2001. However, the GWPs for the fire suppression agents, 
C3F8 and C4F10, which we 
are proposing to list as unacceptable, are significantly higher and 
thus pose significantly greater risk. Because the GWPs for 
C3F8 and C4F10 are 
significantly higher than other available alternatives in this end-use 
and there is no significant difference in risk based on the other 
evaluation criteria, we are proposing to list 
C3F8 and C4F10 as 
unacceptable for total flooding applications.
d. When would the status change?
    Today, the demand in the fire suppression total flooding end-use is 
being met through the availability of clean agents and not-in-kind 
(NIK) substitutes (i.e., non-gaseous agents, including powdered 
aerosols, foam, and water mist).\230\ The current market for the total 
flooding end-use consists of commercially available and proven 
alternatives including HCFCs, HFCs, inert gases, and a variety of NIK 
extinguishing agents (e.g., powdered aerosols, foams water) and 
technologies. National and international standards currently cover the 
requirements, specifications, and recommendations for design, 
installation, testing, maintenance, and safety factors for many of 
these alternatives in the total flooding end-use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \230\ ICF, 2016h. Market Characterization for Fire Suppression, 
Comfort Cooling, Cold Storage, and Household Refrigeration 
Industries in the United States. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency. October 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Considering the above, and the current suite of other available 
substitutes in the fire suppression total flooding end uses EPA is 
proposing to change the listings from acceptable to unacceptable for 
C3F8 and C4F10 in total 
flooding systems as of one year after publication of a final rule. 
Based on the information available to EPA today on the total flooding 
agent markets as discussed above, including through various discussions 
with industry representatives, users have other available alternatives 
with lower overall risks to human health and the environment. Given the 
broad commercial availability of the alternative systems already and 
coverage by national and international standards of many of the 
alternatives, one year provides a reasonable timeframe for the change 
in status for C3F8 and 
C4F10 in total flooding systems.
e. What is the relationship between this proposed SNAP rule and other 
federal rules?
    EPA is not aware of other federal rules applying to these two fire 
suppression agents in the total flooding end-use.
f. On which topics is EPA specifically requesting comment?
    EPA requests comments on all aspects of these proposed changes. EPA 
specifically requests comment on the proposed decision to change the 
status of C3F8 and C4F10 to 
unacceptable one year after the date of publication of a final rule, 
and requests updated information with regard to the use of these PFCs 
in total flooding applications as well as the availability of other 
substitutes for this end-use. EPA is also interested in advance 
comments on whether to take similar action with respect to certain 
additional fire suppression agents. Specifically, EPA requests advance 
comments and updated information on total flooding uses of 
SF6,HFC-23, and HFC-125, and on both total flooding and 
streaming uses of HFC-227ea. SF6 is listed as acceptable 
subject to narrowed use limits for use as a discharge test agent in 
military uses and civilian aircraft uses only (60 FR 31092; July 13, 
1995). SF6 is a nonflammable, nontoxic gas which is 
colorless and odorless. SF6 is relatively inert, and has an 
atmospheric lifetime of 3,200 years, with a GWP of 22,800. 
SF6 is the most potent GHG the IPCC has evaluated. The U.S. 
Navy has used SF6 as a test gas simulant in place of halon 
in new halon total flooding systems on ships which have been under 
construction prior to identification and qualification of substitute 
agents. Halon systems are no longer included in designs for new ships. 
Similarly, the airline industry had an interest in using SF6 
as a discharge test agent simulating halon 1301 in aircraft system 
certification testing to ensure aircraft in-flight fire safety. The 
amount of SF6 released in developing and certifying these 
critical systems for commercial aircraft was estimated to be 
approximately 1,000 pounds per year or less for this development 
period, however airlines continue to build new aircraft with halon 
systems. EPA is not aware of SF6 use in other commercial 
sector testing regimes, and EPA imposed a narrowed use limit on 
SF6 as a discharge test agent to ensure that emissions of 
this agent remain minimal. The NFPA 12a and NFPA 2001 standards 
recommend that halon or other total flooding gases not be used in 
discharge testing, but that alternative methods of ensuring enclosure 
and piping integrity and system functioning be used. Alternative 
methods can often be used, such as the ``door fan'' test for enclosure 
integrity, UL 1058 testing to ensure system functioning, pneumatic test 
of installed piping, and a ``puff'' test to ensure against internal 
blockages in the piping network. These stringent design and testing 
requirements have largely obviated the need to perform a discharge test 
for total flood systems containing either halon 1301 or a substitute 
agent outside of military and civil aircraft uses.
    EPA requests comment and updated information on whether there is 
current or continuing use of SF6 in this end-use and the 
availability of substitutes or alternative technologies or processes 
that would obviate its continued use.
    HFC-23 is listed as acceptable as a total flooding substitute. In 
the SNAP final rule of March 18, 1994 (59 FR 13044), EPA decided not to 
adopt the proposed narrowed use limits on HFC-23 in response to 
comments that its cardiotoxicity profile was favorable compared to its 
design or inerting concentration and in some cases it was the only 
acceptable alternative in particular applications such as: (1) Where 
temperatures are likely to go below zero degrees, (2) where pre-
inerting is required for occupied areas, and (3) where occupied areas 
can suffer considerable variation in fire volume. HFC-23 is used as a 
total flooding agent in occupied areas because of its favorable 
cardiotoxicity profile with values of 30 percent for the NOAEL and 50 
percent for the LOAEL, compared to a design concentration of 14.4 
percent, based on cup burner tests in heptane. Compared to an inerting 
concentration in methane of 20.5 percent and an inerting design 
concentration of 22.6 percent in methane, the agent made for an 
excellent candidate for use in explosion inertion. Nevertheless, it is 
also a potent greenhouse gas with a GWP of 14,800.
    In its 2014 Assessment, the UNEP TEAP HTOC reported on the status 
of the use of halons and alternatives in the various sector of use 
including in pipelines and the oil and gas industry.\231\ Halon 1301 is 
used for

[[Page 22888]]

maintaining legacy systems used to prevent explosions and to suppress 
fires in inhospitable locations such as the Alaskan North Slope in the 
United States. This situation remains the same today since ``existing 
facilities were designed and constructed with halon 1301 fixed systems 
as an integral part of the safety system design as well as the physical 
layout of the facility.'' New facilities adopt inherently safe design 
approaches that eliminate the p otential flammable or explosive 
hazards. New technologies such as advanced detection systems also 
reduce reliance on need to close and inert the space. However, where an 
inerting agent is still required in occupied spaces, halon 1301 has 
been replaced by HFC-23 or C6-perfluoroketone, if temperatures permit. 
Currently, HFC-23 is the only alternative determined to meet both the 
requirement to mitigate inerting high-GWP gas release, such as methane, 
and perform its function in fully enclosed spaces in very cold climatic 
conditions. EPA requests comment and updated information on the 
continuing use of HFC-23 in this and potentially other applications in 
this end-use and the availability of substitutes or alternative 
technologies or processes that would obviate its continued use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \231\ TEAP/HTOC, 2015. 2014 Report of the Halons Technical 
Options Committee (Vol. 1). This document is accessible at: http://ozone.unep.org/en/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/HTOC/HTOC%202014%20Assessment%20Report.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With significant progress made by the U.S. total flooding systems 
industry in adopting a variety of suppression agent alternatives, EPA 
understands that, as a result, a mix of agents are in use today with 
high-GWP HFCs occupying a substantial portion of the products on the 
market. Currently, HFCs account for approximately 23 percent of the 
alternatives used to replace halon 1301, while HFC-227ea constitutes a 
majority of that total, with some use of other HFCs such as HFC-23 and 
HFC-125.\232\ EPA, therefore, also requests comment and updated 
information on the continuing use of HFC-125 and HFC-227ea in fire 
protection and explosion protection. HFC-227ea is an acceptable 
alternative for both total flooding (59 FR 12044; March 18, 1994) and 
streaming (64 FR 22987; April 28, 1999) applications; HFC-125 is an 
acceptable alternative for total flooding uses (59 FR 12044; March 18, 
1994). The extinguishing concentration for HFC-227ea for typical Class 
A fires in heptane is below its NOAEL making it appropriate it for use 
as a total flooding agent in normally occupied spaces, while the 
extinguishing concentration for HFC-125 is above its cardiotoxic NOAEL 
making it appropriate for use in spaces that are not normally occupied. 
EPA is requesting comment and updated information on the continuing use 
of these alternatives and the availability of substitutes or 
alternative technologies or processes that would obviate their 
continued use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \232\ ICF, 2016h. Market Characterization for Fire Suppression, 
Comfort Cooling, Cold Storage, and Household Refrigeration 
Industries in the United States. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency. October 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Proposed Removal of Powdered Aerosol D in Total Flooding From the 
List of Substitutes Acceptable for Use Subject to Use Conditions
    Powdered Aerosol D is a pyrotechnic particulate aerosol and 
explosion suppressant that also is marketed under the trade names of 
Aero-K[supreg] and Stat-X[supreg]. This fire suppressant is supplied to 
users as a solid housed in a double-walled hermetically-sealed steel 
container. When the unit is triggered by heat (300 [deg]C), the product 
is pyrotechnically activated to produce gases and aerosol particles 
from a mixture of chemicals. EPA listed Powdered Aerosol D as 
acceptable subject to use conditions as a total flooding agent (71 FR 
56359; September 7, 2006). The use conditions required that Powdered 
Aerosol D be used only in areas that are not normally occupied, because 
the Agency did not have sufficient information at that time supporting 
its safe use in areas that are normally occupied. Based on a review of 
additional information from the submitter to support the safe use of 
Powdered Aerosol D in normally occupied spaces, EPA subsequently 
determined that Powdered Aerosol D is also acceptable for use in total 
flooding systems for normally occupied spaces (79 FR 62863; October 21, 
2014). The listing provides that Powdered Aerosol D is acceptable for 
total flooding uses, which includes both unoccupied and occupied 
spaces. In the October 2014 listing action, EPA noted that in a 
subsequent rulemaking, the Agency would remove the previous listing of 
acceptable subject to use conditions. Today, EPA is proposing to remove 
this listing for Powdered Aerosol D.

VII. Statutory and Executive Orders Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders 
can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is a significant regulatory action that was submitted 
to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. It raises 
novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the 
President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive 
Order. Any changes made in response to OMB recommendations have been 
documented in the docket. EPA prepared an analysis of the potential 
costs and benefits associated with this action. These are available in 
docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663 under the titles, ``Climate Benefits of the 
Proposed SNAP Program Status Change Rule'' and ``Preliminary Cost 
Analysis for Regulatory Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP 
Alternatives used in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foams, and 
Fire Suppression.''

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the PRA. OMB has previously approved the information collection 
requirements contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB 
control number 2060-0226. This proposed rule contains no new 
requirements for reporting or recordkeeping.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. The 
small entities subject to the requirements of this action are small 
businesses. For purposes of assessing the impacts of this proposed rule 
on small entities, EPA evaluated small businesses as defined by the 
Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 121.201. 
The Agency has determined that about 90 small businesses could be 
subject to the rulemaking, and roughly 76 percent of the small 
businesses subject to this proposed rulemaking would be expected to 
experience compliance costs of less than one percent of annual sales 
revenue. Details of this analysis are presented in the document 
entitled, ``Economic Impact Screening Analysis for Regulatory Changes 
to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives used in Refrigeration 
and Air Conditioning, Motor Vehicle Air Conditioners, Foams, and Fire 
Suppression.'' EPA evaluated the potential costs to small businesses 
associated with the proposed rule. EPA estimates that the total 
annualized compliance costs for all small businesses would be 
approximately $11.8 to $14.4 million at a seven percent discount rate, 
or $11.5 to $14.0 million at a three percent discount rate.\233\

[[Page 22889]]

Today's action allows equipment manufacturers the additional options of 
using propane, HFO-1234yf, and 2-BTP in the specified end-uses but does 
not mandate such use. Because these substitutes are not yet being used 
in the United States for the end-uses (with the exception of limited 
test-marketing), no change in business practice would be required to 
meet the use conditions, resulting in no adverse impact compared to the 
absence of this rule. Provisions that allow venting of hydrocarbon 
refrigerants in the uses of propane addressed by this proposed rule 
would reduce regulatory burden. We have therefore concluded that this 
action would relieve regulatory burden for all small entities that 
choose to use propane as a refrigerant in the end-uses in this proposed 
listing. The use conditions of this proposed rule apply to 
manufacturers of commercial ice machines, water coolers, and very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment that choose to use propane.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \233\ ICF, 2016a. Preliminary Cost Analysis for Regulatory 
Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives used in 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire Suppression. 
February, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The requirements of this proposed rule with respect to HFCs, if 
finalized as proposed, would impact small businesses that manufacture 
food processing and dispensing equipment, household refrigerators and 
freezers, cold storage refrigeration systems, and polyurethane foams; 
operators of cold storage refrigeration systems, including refrigerated 
warehouses, wholesalers, and food manufacturers; and manufacture and 
use cold storage warehouses, and small businesses that import products 
containing closed cell phenolic, polyisocyanurate, polyolefin, PU, and 
polystyrene foams manufactured with HFC or HCFC foam blowing agents. 
The proposal to prohibit use of methylene chloride as a foam blowing 
agent is not anticipated to impact small businesses because this 
substance is not expected to be used currently as a blowing agent. This 
rule's provisions do not create enforceable requirements for 
refrigeration and AC technicians, but they would indirectly affect 
technicians servicing motor vehicle AC systems, certain types of retail 
food refrigeration equipment, cold storage warehouses, and commercial 
AC equipment where the technician, rather than the refrigeration or AC 
equipment owner, purchases servicing equipment for different 
refrigerants. EPA expects these indirect impacts on technicians are 
minimal, because the transitions to different refrigerants required by 
this proposed rule are already occurring due to corporate social 
responsibility initiatives (e.g., Consumer Goods Forum pledge 
concerning HFC refrigerants), and because many of the still-acceptable 
alternatives are already used for these refrigeration or AC equipment 
types. Further, most acceptable HFC refrigerant blends can be recovered 
and serviced using equipment that service technicians already own. In 
some uses, there is no significant impact of the proposed rule because 
the substitutes proposed to be prohibited are not widely used (e.g., 
use of perfluorocarbons for fire suppression, use of methylene chloride 
as a foam blowing agent in various types of foam). A significant 
portion of the businesses regulated under this proposed rule are not 
small businesses (e.g., commercial AC manufacturers). We have therefore 
concluded that this action will not have a significant impact on a 
significant number of small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in 
UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government. EPA is 
aware that the California Air Resources Board is considering regulation 
of a number of the substitutes and end-uses in this proposed rule. EPA 
specifically solicits comment on whether any state agencies have 
existing environmental requirements affecting the substitutes and the 
end-uses in this proposed rule.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on 
tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal government 
and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal government and Indian tribes, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to 
this action. EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this 
proposed action from tribal officials.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is 
not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and 
because EPA does not believe the environmental health or safety risks 
addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. 
This proposed rule restricts the use of certain substitutes that have 
greater overall risks for human health and the environment, primarily 
due to their high global warming potential. The reduction in GHG 
emissions would provide climate benefits for all people, including 
benefits for children and future generations. The public is invited to 
submit comments or identify peer-reviewed studies and data that assess 
effects of early life exposure to the alternatives addressed in the 
comparisons of toxicity for the various substitutes, as well as risk 
screens for the substitutes that are proposed to be listed as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, or are newly listed as 
unacceptable.234 235 236 237 238 The risk screens are in the 
docket for this rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \234\ ICF, 2016c. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Water Coolers Substitute: Propane (R-290).
    \235\ ICF, 2016d. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Very Low Temperature Refrigeration Substitute: Propane (R-290) 
and Ethane (R-170).
    \236\ ICF, 2016e. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Commercial Ice Machines Substitute: Propane (R-290).
    \237\ ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
    \238\ ICF, 2016g. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Chillers and Cold Storage Warehouses. Substitute: Propylene (R-
1270).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' because it is 
not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution or use of energy. For the end-uses that are related to 
energy effects such as refrigeration and AC, a number of alternatives 
are available to replace those refrigerants that are proposed as 
unacceptable in this action; many of the alternatives are as energy 
efficient or more energy efficient than the substitutes being

[[Page 22890]]

proposed unacceptable. Thus, we have concluded that this proposed rule 
is not likely to have any adverse energy effects.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) and 1 CFR 
Part 51

    This action involves technical standards. EPA proposes to use 
standards from UL in the use conditions for propane. These use 
conditions would ensure that these new substitutes for very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment, commercial ice machines, and water 
coolers, do not present significantly greater risk to human health or 
the environment than other alternatives.
    EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference portions of current 
editions of the UL Standard 399, ``Standard for Drinking-Water 
Coolers''; UL Standard 471, ``Standard for Commercial Refrigerators and 
Freezers''; and UL Standard 563, ``Standard for Ice Makers'', which 
includes requirements for the safe use of refrigerants . Specifically, 
these standards are:
    1. Supplement SB to UL Standard 399: Requirements for Drinking 
Water Coolers Employing A Flammable Refrigerant in the Refrigerating 
System (7th Edition, August 22, 2008). This document establishes 
requirements for self-contained drinking water coolers, including those 
supplying cold and/or hot water and those employing flammable 
refrigerants. The standard is available at http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=399, and may be purchased by mail at: COMM 2000, 151 
Eastern Avenue, Bensenville, IL 60106; Email: 2000.com">[email protected]2000.com; 
Telephone: 1-888-853-3503 in the U.S. or Canada (other countries dial 
+1-415-352-2168); Internet address: http://ulstandards.ul.com/ or 
www.comm-2000.com. The cost of UL 399 is $798 for an electronic copy 
and $998 for hardcopy. UL also offers a subscription service to the 
Standards Certification Customer Library (SCCL) that allows unlimited 
access to their standards and related documents. The cost of obtaining 
this standard is not a significant financial burden for equipment 
manufacturers and purchase is not required for those selling, 
installing and servicing the equipment. Therefore, EPA concludes that 
the UL standard being incorporated by reference is reasonably 
available.
    2. Supplement SB to UL Standard 471: Requirements for Refrigerators 
and Freezers Employing A Flammable Refrigerant in the Refrigerating 
System (10th Edition, November 24, 2010). This document establishes 
requirements for commercial refrigerators and freezers that employ a 
refrigerant that has been identified as having flammable 
characteristics. The standard is available at http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=471&edition=10&doctype=ulstd, and may 
be purchased by mail at: COMM 2000, 151 Eastern Avenue, Bensenville, IL 
60106; Email: 2000.com">[email protected]2000.com; Telephone: 1-888-853-3503 in the 
U.S. or Canada (other countries dial +1-415-352-2168); Internet 
address: http://ulstandards.ul.com/ or www.comm-2000.com. The cost of 
UL 471 is $716 for an electronic copy and $897 for hardcopy. UL also 
offers a subscription service to the SCCL that allows unlimited access 
to their standards and related documents. The cost of obtaining this 
standard is not a significant financial burden for equipment 
manufacturers and purchase is not required for those selling, 
installing and servicing the equipment. Therefore, EPA concludes that 
the UL standard being incorporated by reference is reasonably 
available.
    3. Supplement SA to UL Standard 563: Requirements for Ice Makers 
Employing a Flammable Refrigerant in the Refrigeration System (8th 
Edition, July 31, 2009). This document establishes requirements for 
automatic ice makers, including unitary and remote ice makers. The 
standard is available at http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=563&edition=8&doctype=ulstd, and may be purchased by mail at: COMM 
2000, 151 Eastern Avenue, Bensenville, IL 60106; Email: 2000.com">[email protected]2000.com; Telephone: 1-888-853-3503 in the U.S. or Canada (other 
countries dial +1-415-352-2168); Internet address: http://ulstandards.ul.com/ or www.comm-2000.com. The cost of UL 563 is $716 
for an electronic copy and $897 for hardcopy. UL also offers a 
subscription service to the SCCL that allows unlimited access to their 
standards and related documents. The cost of obtaining this standard is 
not a significant financial burden for equipment manufacturers and 
purchase is not required for those selling, installing and servicing 
the equipment. Therefore, EPA concludes that the UL standard being 
incorporated by reference is reasonably available.
    In addition, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the list 
of refrigerants that ASHRAE designates as flammability Class 3 
according to ASHRAE Standard 34-2013, Designation and Safety 
Classification of Refrigerants, in the unacceptability listing for 
certain highly flammable refrigerants for use in existing residential 
and light commercial split AC systems. This standard is available at 
https://www.ashrae.org/resources-publications/bookstore/standards-15-34, and may be purchased by mail at: 6300 Interfirst Drive, Ann Arbor, 
MI 48108; by telephone: 1-800-527-4723 in the U.S. or Canada; Internet 
address: http://www.techstreet.com/ashrae/ashrae_standards.html?ashrae_auth_token=. The cost of ASHRAE Standard 
34-2013 is $107 for an electronic or hardcopy. The cost of obtaining 
this standard is not a significant financial burden for equipment 
manufacturers and purchase is not required for those selling, 
installing and servicing the equipment. Therefore, EPA concludes that 
the ASHRAE standard being incorporated by reference is reasonably 
available.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The human health or environmental risk addressed by this action 
will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human 
health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous 
populations. This action's health and risk assessments are contained in 
the comparisons of toxicity for the various substitutes, as well as 
risk screens for the substitutes that are proposed to be listed as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, or are newly listed as 
unacceptable.239 240 241 242 243 The risk screens are in the 
docket for this rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \239\ ICF, 2016c. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Water Coolers Substitute: Propane (R-290).
    \240\ ICF, 2016d. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Very Low Temperature Refrigeration Substitute: Propane (R-290) 
and Ethane (R-170).
    \241\ ICF, 2016e. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Commercial Ice Machines Substitute: Propane (R-290).
    \242\ ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
    \243\ ICF, 2016g. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Chillers and Cold Storage Warehouses. Substitute: Propylene (R-
1270).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VIII. References

A.S. Trust & Holdings, 2014. Response to Incompleteness Letter from 
A.S. Trust & Holdings to EPA--Sent March 7, 2014.
AHRI, 2014. Guideline N-2014 for Assignment of Refrigerant Container 
Colors. This document is accessible

[[Page 22891]]

online at http://www.ahrinet.org/App_Content/ahri/files/Guidelines/AHRI_Guideline_N_2014.pdf.
AHRI, 2015. AHRI Will Reinforce Refrigerant R&D Commitment at White 
House Event. October 15, 2015. This document is accessible at: 
http://www.ahrinet.org/site/320/News-Events/News-and-Shipping-Releases?A=1112.
AIRAH, 2013. Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning 
and Heating. Safety Guide: Flammable Refrigerants. 2013. This 
document is accessible at: http://www.unep.fr/ozonaction/information/mmcfiles/7681-e-FlammableRefrigerantsGuideAIRAH.pdf.
Airgas, 2015. Safety Data Sheet for Propylene.
Akerman, 2013. Hydrofluorocarbons and Climate Change: Summaries of 
Recent Scientific and Papers. 2013.
ASHRAE, 2013. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2013: Safety Standard for 
Refrigeration Systems.
ASHRAE, 2013. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013: Designation and Safety 
Classification of Refrigerants.
ASHRAE, 2014. 2014 Handbook--Refrigeration. The American Society of 
Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers, Inc. 
Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ISBN 978-1-936504-71-8; ISSN 1930-7195.
Blupura, 2015. SNAP Information Notice for R-290 in Water Coolers. 
October, 2015.
Clayton Corporation, 2014. Re: Proposed SNAP Program Status Change 
Rule Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198, comment submitted by 
Clayton Corporation. October 20, 2014. Docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-
2014-0198-0133.
Clayton Corporation, 2015. Clayton Corporation Meeting with EPA 
Stratospheric Protection Division, December 8, 2015.
Cooling Post, 2014. Trane first with 1233zd chiller, June 30, 2014. 
This document is accessible at www.coolingpost.com/world-news/trane-first-with-1233zd-chiller/.
Cooling Post, 2015. ``Chemours to build HFO-1336mzz plant,'' 
November 17, 2015. This document is accessible online at: http://www.coolingpost.com/world-news/chemours-to-build-hfo-1336mzz-plant/.
DOE, 2014. Building Energy Codes Program. Energy Efficiency 
Standards for Federal Buildings. Available at: https://www.energycodes.gov/regulations/federal-building-standards. Last 
updated February 13, 2014.
Doniger and Yurek, 2016. Doniger, David (NRDC) and Stephen Yurek 
(AHRI), February 1, 2016. AHRI/NRDC Letter Regarding Chiller Actions 
Under SNAP.
DuPont, 2014. Re: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of 
Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New 
Alternatives Policy Program. Submitted by Michael Parr and Mack 
McFarland, DuPont. October 17, 2014. Docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-
0198-0077.
Ecomall, 2015. Greenfreeze: A Revolution in Domestic Refrigeration. 
Accessible at: http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/greenfreeze.htm.
EIA, 2015. Petition requesting EPA to modify the status under the 
Significant New Alternatives Policy Program, of certain high-GWP 
chemicals in various end-uses. Submitted October 6, 2015.
EPA, 2009a. Technical Support Document for Endangerment and Cause or 
Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the 
Clean Air Act. December, 2009. This document is accessible at: 
http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/endangerment/Endangerment_TSD.pdf.
EPA, 2009b. Risk Assessment: PMN 07-0601. Available at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664-0036.
EPA, 2013. Finding of Violation, issued to Enviro-Safe Refrigerants, 
Inc. June, 2013. This document is accessible at: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-07/documents/mailfov_envirosafe_06112013.pdf.
EPA, 2015. Draft Regulatory Impact Analysis: Proposed Rulemaking for 
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- 
and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles--Phase 2. EPA-420-D-15-900. June 
2015. Available at http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420d15900.pdf.
EPA, 2016a. Draft Climate Benefits of the SNAP Program Status Change 
Rule. February 2016.
EPA, 2016b. Draft Tables of Alternatives for End-Uses Considered in 
the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, Protection of Stratospheric 
Ozone: Listing Modifications for Certain Substitutes under the 
Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. March, 2016.
Eppendorf, 2015. SNAP Information Notice for R-170 and R-290 in Very 
Low Temperature Refrigeration. May, 2015.
EU, 2014. Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 of the European Parliament and 
of the Council of 16 April 2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases and 
repealing Regulation (EC) No 842/2006. Available online at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.150.01.0195.01.ENG.
FAA, 2002. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Minimum Performance 
Standard for Hand-Held Extinguishers. This document is accessible 
at: http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/01-37.pdf.
Fomo, 2014. Comment Re: Proposed SNAP Program Status Change Rule 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198, submitted by Dr. Thomas 
Fishback, Vice President, Research and Development, Fomo Products, 
Inc. October 16, 2014. Docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0139.
Fomo, 2015. ``The Use of Solstice[supreg] Gas Blowing Agent (GBA) in 
Low-Pressure Spray Polyurethane Foam Applications,'' Cline, Mojee 
and Bogdan, Mary, October, 2015. Polyurethane Industry Conference 
2015.
FTOC, 2011. 2010 Report of the Rigid and Flexible Foams Technical 
Options Committee. This document is accessible at: http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/FTOC/FTOC-2010-Assessment-Report.pdf.
Gradient, 2013. Additional Risk Assessment of Alternative 
Refrigerant R-1234yf. Prepared by Gradient for SAE International 
Cooperative Research Program 1234-4. July 24, 2013. The Executive 
Summary of this document is accessible at: http://www.sae.org/standardsdev/tsb/cooperative/executivesummary.pdf.
Honeywell, 2014. Comments on Proposed Rule: Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain 
Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program 
(Docket no. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014- 0198). October 20, 2014. Docket number 
EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0170.
Hossaini, et al., 2015. R. Hossaini, M.P. Chipperfield, S.A. 
Montzka, A. Rap, S. Dhomse, W. Feng. Efficiency of short-lived 
halogens at influencing climate through depletion of stratospheric 
ozone. Nature Geoscience, February 16, 2015. This document is 
accessible online at http://DOI:10.1038/ngeo2363.
ICCT, 2015. International Council on Clean Transportation: 
Regulatory Considerations for Advancing Commercial Pickup and Van 
Efficiency Technology in the United States. Available online at: 
http://www.theicct.org/us-commercial-pickups-vans-efficiency-technology.
ICF, 2008. Air-Conditioning Refrigerant Charge Size to Passenger 
Compartment Volume Ratio Analysis. Confidential Memorandum Prepared 
for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2008.
ICF, 2009a. Revised Final Draft Assessment of the Potential Impacts 
of HFO-1234yf and the Associated Production of TFA on Aquatic 
Communities and Local Air Quality.
ICF, 2009b. Risk Screen on Substitutes for CFC-12 in Motor Vehicle 
Air Conditioning: Substitute: HFO-1234yf. This document is 
accessible at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-
OAR-2008-0664-0038.
ICF, 2010a. Summary of HFO-1234yf Emissions Assumptions.
ICF, 2010b. Summary of Updates to the Vintaging Model that Impacted 
HFO-1234yf Emissions Estimates.
ICF, 2010c. Revised Assessment of the Potential Impacts of HFO-
1234yf and the Associated Production of TFA on Aquatic Communities, 
Soil and Plants, and Local Air Quality.
ICF, 2010d. Sensitivity Analysis CMAQ results on projected maximum 
TFA rainwater concentrations and maximum 8-hr ozone concentrations.
ICF, 2014a. Assessment of the Potential Impact of Hydrocarbon 
Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. February, 2014.
ICF, 2014b. Risk Screen on Substitutes for HCFC-22 in Residential 
and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps; Substitute: 
Propane (R-290).

[[Page 22892]]

ICF, 2014c. Risk Screen on Substitutes for HCFC-22 in Residential 
and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps; Substitute: R-
441A.
ICF, 2015. Market Characterization of the U.S. Motor Vehicle Air 
Conditioning Industry, U.S. Foams Industry, U.S. Aerosols Industry, 
and U.S. Commercial Refrigeration Industry. July, 2015.
ICF, 2016a. Preliminary Cost Analysis for Regulatory Changes to the 
Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives used in Refrigeration and 
Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire Suppression. February, 2016.
ICF, 2016b. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for Regulatory 
Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives used in 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Foams, and Fire Suppression. 
February, 2016.
ICF, 2016c. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Water Coolers Substitute: Propane (R-290).
ICF, 2016d. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Very Low Temperature Refrigeration Substitute: Propane (R-290) 
and Ethane (R-170).
ICF, 2016e. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program: 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Commercial Ice Machines Substitute: Propane (R-290).
ICF, 2016f. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps. 
Substitute: R-443A.
ICF, 2016g. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Risk Screen on Substitutes 
in Chillers and Cold Storage Warehouses. Substitute: Propylene (R-
1270).
ICF, 2016h. Market Characterization for Fire Suppression, Comfort 
Cooling, Cold Storage, Refrigerated Food Processing and Dispensing 
Equipment, and Household Refrigeration Industries in the United 
States. Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
February, 2016.
ICF, 2016i. Technical Support Document for Acceptability Listing of 
HFO-1234yf for Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning in Limited Heavy-Duty 
Applications.
ICF, 2016j. Analysis of annual VOC emissions from the use of 2-BTP.
ICF, 2016k. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. Fire 
Extinguishing and Explosion Prevention Sector. Risk Screen on 
Substitutes as a Streaming Agent in Civil Aviation Applications. 
Substitute: 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene (2-BTP).
ICF, 2016l. Significant New Alternatives Policy Program. Fire 
Extinguishing and Explosion Prevention Sector. Risk Screen on 
Substitutes for Total Flooding Systems in Unoccupied Spaces. 
Substitute: 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene (2-BTP).
INCHEM, 1996. International Programme on Chemical Safety. 
Environmental Health Criteria 164. Methylene chloride, second 
edition. World Health Organization, 1996. This document is 
accessible online at: http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc164.htm.
IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. 
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of 
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Solomon, S., D. Qin, 
M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. 
Miller (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom 
and New York, NY, USA. This document is accessible at: www.ipcc.ch/
publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html.
IPCC, 2013: Annex II: Climate System Scenario Tables [Prather, M., 
G. Flato, P. Friedlingstein, C. Jones, J.-F. Lamarque, H. Liao and 
P. Rasch (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science 
Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment 
Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, 
T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. 
Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge 
University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. 
This document is accessible at: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/.
IPCC/TEAP, 2005. Special Report: Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and 
the Global Climate System: Issues Related to Hydrofluorocarbons and 
Perfluorocarbons. Cambridge Univ Press, New York. This document is 
accessible at: https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/sroc_full.pdf.
JARN, 2015a. First Carrier AquaForce Chillers using HFO-1234ze, July 
30, 2015. This document is accessible at: http://www.ejarn.com/news.aspx?ID=35619.
JARN, 2015b. Trane Exhibits First Air-cooled Chiller with Climate-
friendly Refrigerant DR-55, September 21, 2015. This document is 
accessible at: www.ejarn.com/news.aspx?ID=36282.
Kazil et al., 2014. Deposition and rainwater concentrations of 
trifluoroacetic acid in the United States from the use of HFO-
1234yf. JGR-Atmospheres, 2014.
Luecken et al., 2009. Ozone and TFA impacts in North America from 
degradation of 2, 3, 3, 3-tetrafluoropropene (HFO-1234yf), a 
potential greenhouse gas replacement. Environmental Science & 
Technology 2009. The document is accessible at: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Waterland/publication/40481734_Ozone_and_TFA_impacts_in_North_America_from_degradation_of_2333-Tetrafluoropropene_(HFO-
1234yf)_a_potential_greenhouse_gas_replacement/links/
00b7d514ca9595bf5e000000.pdf.
Manitowoc, 2015. SNAP Information Notice, September, 2013. EPA SNAP 
Submittal--Revision to Extend R-290 Use to Commercial Ice Machines, 
Manitowoc Ice, Inc. October, 2015.
Montzka, 2012. HFCs in the Atmosphere: Concentrations, Emissions and 
Impacts. ASHRAE/NIST Conference 2012. This document is accessible 
at: ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/hats/papers/montzka/2012_pubs/Montzka_ASHRAE_2012.pdf.
NRDC/IGSD, 2015. Petition for Change of Status of HFCs under Clean 
Air Act Section 612 (Significant New Alternatives Policy). Submitted 
October 6, 2015.
ORNL, 2015. ORNL's JUMP Challenge: JUMP in to Advance Tech 
Innovation! Presented by Brian Fricke, Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory. November 17, 2015.
Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and Ozone 
Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trichloropropylene and 
trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-dimensional model.'' Atmos. 
Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
Patten et al., 2012. Correction to ``OH reaction rate constant, IR 
absorption spectrum, ozone depletion potentials and global warming 
potentials of 2-bromo-3,3,3-trifluoropropene,'' J. Geophys. Res., 
117, D22301, doi:10.1029/2012JD019051.
RTOC, 2015. 2014 Report of the Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and 
Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee. This document is accessible 
at: http://ozone.unep.org/sites/ozone/files/documents/RTOC-Assessment-Report-2014.pdf.
SAE, 2013. SAE International Cooperative Research Project CRP1234-4 
on R-1234yf Safety, Finishes Work and Presents Conclusions. This 
document is accessible at: http://www.sae.org/servlets/pressRoom?OBJECT_TYPE=PressReleases&PAGE=showRelease&RELEASE_ID=2146.

Sleasman, K. and Biggs, M., 2015. Lessons learned from the Federal 
Partners Workgroup on Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF), presented at 
the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry Technical Conference, 
October, 2015.
TEAP, 2013. Report of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel, 
Volume 2: Decision XXIV/7 Task Force Report, Additional Information 
on Alternatives to ODS. September, 2013. This document is accessible 
at: http://ozone.unep.org/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/TEAP_Reports/TEAP_TaskForce%20XXIV-7-September2013.pdf.
TEAP, 2015. 2014 Assessment Report of the Technology and Economic 
Assessment Panel. This document is accessible at: http://conf.montreal-protocol.org/meeting/oewg/oewg-36/presession/Background%20Documents%20are%20available%20in%20English%20only/TEAP_Assessment_report_2014.pdf.
TEAP/HTOC, 2015. 2014 Report of the Halons Technical Options 
Committee (Vol. 1). This document is accessible at: http://ozone.unep.org/en/Assessment_Panels/TEAP/Reports/HTOC/HTOC%202014%20Assessment%20Report.pdf.
The White House, 2013. President's Climate Action Plan. This 
document is accessible at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/

[[Page 22893]]

default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf.
The White House, 2015. Fact Sheet: Obama Administration and Private-
Sector Leaders Announce Ambitious Commitments and Robust Progress to 
Address Potent Greenhouse Gases, October 15, 2015. Accessible at 
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/15/fact-sheet-obama-administration-and-private-sector-leaders-announce.
Trane, 2015. Trane[supreg] Sintesis\TM\ Air-cooled Chillers. This 
document is accessible at: http://www.trane.com/content/dam/Trane/Commercial/global/products-systems/equipment/chillers/air-cooled/TRANE_Sintesis_Brochure.pdf.
UL, 2004. Standard 711--Rating and Testing of Fire Extinguishers. 
This document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=711_7.
UL, 2005. Standard 2129--Halocarbon Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers. 
This document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=2129_2.
UL, 2008. Standard 399--Standard for Drinking-Water Coolers. A 
summary of this document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=399_7.
UL, 2009. Standard 563--Standard for Ice Makers. A summary of this 
document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=563.
UL, 2010. Standard 471--Standard for Commercial Refrigerators and 
Freezers. A summary of this document is accessible at: http://ulstandards.ul.com/standard/?id=471_10.
UNEP, 2011. HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and the 
Ozone Layer, A UNEP Synthesis Report. November, 2011. This document 
is accessible at: www.unep.org/dewa/portals/67/pdf/HFC_report.pdf.
VASA, 2014. Two injured in Perth HC refrigerant explosion. May 24, 
2014. This document is accessible at: http://www.vasa.org.au/two-injured-in-perth-hc-refrigerant-explosion/.
Velders, G.J.M., D.W. Fahey, J.S. Daniel, M. McFarland, S.O. 
Andersen (2009). ``The large contribution of projected HFC emissions 
to future climate forcing.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of 
Sciences USA 106: 10949-10954.
Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: Analyses 
of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' Department of 
Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, IL. September 
26, 2011.
Wickham, 2002. Status of Industry Efforts to Replace Halon Fire 
Extinguishing Agents. March, 2002.
WMO, 2011. Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010, Global 
Ozone Research and Monitoring Project. Geneva, Switzerland, 2011. 
This document is accessible at: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/ozone/2010/report.html.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Recycling, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements, Stratospheric ozone layer.

    Dated: March 29, 2016.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, EPA proposes to amend 40 
CFR part 82 as follows:

PART 82--PROTECTION OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE

0
1. The authority citation for part 82 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7414, 7601, 7671-7671q.

Subpart F--Recycling and Emissions Reduction

0
2. Amend Sec.  82.154 by adding paragraph (a)(1)(iv) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  82.154  Prohibitions.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iv) Effective [DATE 30 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE], 
propane (R-290) in self-contained commercial ice machines, very low 
temperature refrigeration equipment, and water coolers.
* * * * *

Subpart G--Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

0
3. Appendix B to subpart G of part 82 is amended by adding three 
entries at the end of the table titled ``Refrigerants--Acceptable 
Subject to Use Conditions'' to read as follows:

Appendix B to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Subject to Use 
Restrictions and Unacceptable Substitutes

                               Refrigerants--Acceptable Subject to Use Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Application              Substitute         Decision            Conditions              Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Motor vehicle air conditioning  HFO-1234yf......  Acceptable        As of [date 30 days    Additional training
 (newly manufactured medium-                       subject to use    after publication of   for service
 duty passenger vehicles).                         conditions.       final rule]:           technicians
                                                                    (1) HFO-1234yf MVAC     recommended.
                                                                     systems must adhere   HFO-1234yf is also
                                                                     to all of the safety   known as 2,3,3,3-
                                                                     requirements of SAE    tetrafluoro-prop-1-
                                                                     J639 (adopted 2011),   ene (CAS. Reg. No.
                                                                     including              754-12-1).
                                                                     requirements for a
                                                                     flammable
                                                                     refrigerant warning
                                                                     label, high-pressure
                                                                     compressor cutoff
                                                                     switch and pressure
                                                                     relief devices, and
                                                                     unique fittings. For
                                                                     connections with
                                                                     refrigerant
                                                                     containers for use
                                                                     in professional
                                                                     servicing, use
                                                                     fittings must be
                                                                     consistent with SAE
                                                                     J2844 (revised
                                                                     October 2011).
                                                                    (2) Manufacturers
                                                                     must conduct Failure
                                                                     Mode and Effect
                                                                     Analysis (FMEA) as
                                                                     provided in SAE
                                                                     J1739 (adopted
                                                                     2009). Manufacturers
                                                                     must keep the FMEA
                                                                     on file for at least
                                                                     three years from the
                                                                     date of creation.

[[Page 22894]]

 
Motor vehicle air conditioning  HFO-1234yf......  Acceptable        As of [date 30 days    Additional training
 (newly manufactured heavy-                        subject to use    after publication of   for service
 duty pickup trucks).                              conditions.       final rule]:           technicians
                                                                    (1) HFO-1234yf MVAC     recommended.
                                                                     systems must adhere   HFO-1234yf is also
                                                                     to all of the safety   known as 2,3,3,3-
                                                                     requirements of SAE    tetrafluoro-prop-1-
                                                                     J639 (adopted 2011),   ene (CAS No 754-12-
                                                                     including              1).
                                                                     requirements for a
                                                                     flammable
                                                                     refrigerant warning
                                                                     label, high-pressure
                                                                     compressor cutoff
                                                                     switch and pressure
                                                                     relief devices, and
                                                                     unique fittings. For
                                                                     connections with
                                                                     refrigerant
                                                                     containers for use
                                                                     in professional
                                                                     servicing, use
                                                                     fittings must be
                                                                     consistent with SAE
                                                                     J2844 (revised
                                                                     October 2011).
                                                                    (2) Manufacturers
                                                                     must conduct Failure
                                                                     Mode and Effect
                                                                     Analysis (FMEA) as
                                                                     provided in SAE
                                                                     J1739 (adopted
                                                                     2009). Manufacturers
                                                                     must keep the FMEA
                                                                     on file for at least
                                                                     three years from the
                                                                     date of creation.
Motor vehicle air conditioning  HFO-1234yf......  Acceptable        As of [date 30 days    Additional training
 (newly manufactured complete                      subject to use    after publication of   for service
 heavy-duty vans only).                            conditions.       final rule]:           technicians
                                                                    (1) HFO-1234yf MVAC     recommended.
                                                                     systems must adhere   HFO-1234yf is also
                                                                     to all of the safety   known as 2,3,3,3-
                                                                     requirements of SAE    tetrafluoro-prop-1-
                                                                     J639 (adopted 2011),   ene (CAS No 754-12-
                                                                     including              1).
                                                                     requirements for a    HFO-1234yf is
                                                                     flammable              acceptable for
                                                                     refrigerant warning    complete heavy-duty
                                                                     label, high-pressure   vans. Complete heavy-
                                                                     compressor cutoff      duty vans are not
                                                                     switch and pressure    altered by a
                                                                     relief devices, and    secondary or
                                                                     unique fittings. For   tertiary
                                                                     connections with       manufacturer.
                                                                     refrigerant
                                                                     containers for use
                                                                     in professional
                                                                     servicing, use
                                                                     fittings must be
                                                                     consistent with SAE
                                                                     J2844 (revised
                                                                     October 2011).
                                                                    (2) Manufacturers
                                                                     must conduct Failure
                                                                     Mode and Effect
                                                                     Analysis (FMEA) as
                                                                     provided in SAE
                                                                     J1739 (adopted
                                                                     2009). Manufacturers
                                                                     must keep the FMEA
                                                                     on file for at least
                                                                     three years from the
                                                                     date of creation.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
0
4. Appendix H to subpart G of part 82 is amended by revising the 
entries for ``C3F8'' and 
``C4F10'' in the table titled ``Fire Suppression 
and Explosion Protection-Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits: 
Total Flooding Agents'' to read as follows:

Appendix H to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Subject to Use 
Restrictions and Unacceptable Substitutes, Effective May 28, 1999

* * * * *

   Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits: Total Flooding Agents
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                Substitute         Decision            Conditions        Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding................  HFC-236fa.......  Acceptable        Acceptable when        Use of this agent
                                                   subject to        manufactured using     should be in
                                                   narrowed use      any process that       accordance with the
                                                   limits.           does not convert       safety guidelines in
                                                                     perfluoroisobutylene   the latest edition
                                                                     (PFIB) directly to     of the NFPA 2001
                                                                     HFC-236fa in a         Standard for Clean
                                                                     single step:           Agent Fire Systems.
                                                                    For use in explosion   Users should observe
                                                                     suppression and        the limitations on
                                                                     explosion inertion     HFC-236fa
                                                                     applications, and      acceptability by
                                                                     for use in fire        taking the following
                                                                     suppression            measures:
                                                                     applications where    (i) Conduct an
                                                                     other non-PFC agents   evaluation of
                                                                     or alternatives are    foreseeable
                                                                     not technically        conditions of end-
                                                                     feasible due to        use;
                                                                     performance or        (ii) determine that
                                                                     safety requirements:   the physical or
                                                                    (a) Because of their    chemical properties,
                                                                     physical or chemical   or other technical
                                                                     properties, or.        constraints of the
                                                                    (b) where human         other available
                                                                     exposure to the        agents preclude
                                                                     extinguishing agents   their use; and
                                                                     may result in         (iii) determine that
                                                                     failure to meet        human exposure to
                                                                     safety guidelines in   the other
                                                                     the latest edition     alternative
                                                                     of the NFPA 2001       extinguishing agents
                                                                     Standard for Clean     may result in
                                                                     Agent Fire             failure to meet
                                                                     Extinguishing          safety guidelines in
                                                                     Systems.               the latest edition
                                                                                            of the NFPA 2001
                                                                                            Standard for Clean
                                                                                            Agent Fire
                                                                                            Extinguishing
                                                                                            Systems.
                                                                                           Documentation of such
                                                                                            measures should be
                                                                                            available for review
                                                                                            upon request.
                                                                                           The principal
                                                                                            environmental
                                                                                            characteristic of
                                                                                            concern for HFC-
                                                                                            236fa is its high
                                                                                            GWP of 9400 and long
                                                                                            atmospheric lifetime
                                                                                            of 226 years. Actual
                                                                                            contributions to
                                                                                            global warming
                                                                                            depend upon the
                                                                                            quantities emitted.
                                                                                           See additional
                                                                                            comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                            5.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and
  1910.162.

[[Page 22895]]

 
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the
  area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance
  requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and
  recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective
  equipment (e.g., respiratory protection), fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other
  occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.

* * * * *
0
5. Appendix K to subpart G of part 82 is revised to read as follows:

Appendix K to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Subject to Use 
Restrictions and Unacceptable Substitutes Listed in the July 22, 2002, 
Final Rule Effective August 21, 2002

                                     Foam Blowing--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute                  Decision                  Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Replacements for HCFC-141b in the    HCFC-22, HCFC-142b and  Unacceptable...............  Alternatives exist
 following rigid polyurethane/        blends thereof.        Closed cell foam products     with lower or zero-
 polyisocyanurate applications:                               and products containing      ODP.
--Boardstock                                                  closed cell foams
--Appliance                                                   manufactured with these
--Spray                                                       substitutes on or before
                                                              [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER
                                                              PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
                                                              may be used after that
                                                              date..
All foam end-uses..................  HCFC-124..............  Unacceptable...............  Alternatives exist
                                                             Closed cell foam products     with lower or zero-
                                                              and products containing      ODP.
                                                              closed cell foams
                                                              manufactured with this
                                                              substitute on or before
                                                              [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER
                                                              PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
                                                              may be used after that
                                                              date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0
6. Appendix M to subpart G of part 82 is revised to read as follows:

Appendix M to Subpart G--Unacceptable Substitutes Listed in the 
September 30, 2004 Final Rule, Effective November 29, 2004

                                     Foam Blowing--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute                  Decision                  Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All foam end-uses:                   HCFC-141b.............  Unacceptable...............  Alternatives exist
--rigid polyurethane and                                     Closed cell foam products     with lower or zero-
 polyisocyanurate laminated                                   and products containing      ODP.
 boardstock                                                   closed cell foams
--rigid polyurethane appliance                                manufactured with this
--rigid polyurethane spray and                                substitute on or before
 commercial refrigeration, and                                [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER
 sandwich panels                                              PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
--rigid polyurethane slabstock and                            may be used after that
 other foams                                                  date..
--polystyrene extruded insulation
 boardstock and billet
--phenolic insulation board and
 bunstock
--flexible polyurethane
--polystyrene extruded sheet
Except for: \1\
--space vehicle
--nuclear
--defense
--research and development for
 foreign customers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Exemptions for specific applications are identified in the list of acceptable substitutes.

0
7. Appendix O to subpart G of part 82 is revised to read as follows:

Appendix O to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Listed in the September 
27, 2006 Final Rule, Effective November 27, 2006

[[Page 22896]]



     Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector--Total Flooding Substitutes--Acceptable Subject to Use
                                                   Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                  Substitute          Decision          Conditions       Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding.................  Gelled Halocarbon/ Acceptable         Use of whichever   Use of this agent
                                  Dry Chemical       subject to use     hydrofluorocarbo   should be in
                                  Suspension         conditions.        n gas (HFC-125,    accordance with the
                                  (Envirogel) with                      HFC-227ea, or      safety guidelines in
                                  sodium                                HFC-236fa) is      the latest edition of
                                  bicarbonate                           employed in the    the NFPA 2001
                                  additive.                             formulation must   Standard for Clean
                                                                        be in accordance   Agent Fire
                                                                        with all           Extinguishing
                                                                        requirements for   Systems, for
                                                                        acceptability      whichever
                                                                        (i.e., narrowed    hydrofluorocarbon gas
                                                                        use limits) of     is employed, and the
                                                                        that HFC under     latest edition of the
                                                                        EPA's SNAP         NFPA 2010 standard
                                                                        program.           for Aerosol
                                                                                           Extinguishing
                                                                                           Systems.
                                                                                          Sodium bicarbonate
                                                                                           release in all
                                                                                           settings should be
                                                                                           targeted so that
                                                                                           increased blood pH
                                                                                           level would not
                                                                                           adversely affect
                                                                                           exposed individuals.
                                                                                          Users should provide
                                                                                           special training,
                                                                                           including the
                                                                                           potential hazards
                                                                                           associated with the
                                                                                           use of the HFC agent
                                                                                           and sodium
                                                                                           bicarbonate, to
                                                                                           individuals required
                                                                                           to be in environments
                                                                                           protected by
                                                                                           Envirogel with sodium
                                                                                           bicarbonate additive
                                                                                           extinguishing
                                                                                           systems.
                                                                                          Each extinguisher
                                                                                           should be clearly
                                                                                           labeled with the
                                                                                           potential hazards
                                                                                           from use and safe
                                                                                           handling procedures.
                                                                                          See additional
                                                                                           comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                           5.
Total flooding.................  Powdered Aerosol   Acceptable         For use only in    Use of this agent
                                  E                  subject to use     normally           should be in
                                  (FirePro[supreg]   conditions.        unoccupied areas.  accordance with the
                                  ).                                                       safety guidelines in
                                                                                           the latest edition of
                                                                                           the NFPA 2010
                                                                                           standard for Aerosol
                                                                                           Extinguishing
                                                                                           Systems.
                                                                                          For establishments
                                                                                           manufacturing the
                                                                                           agent or filling,
                                                                                           installing, or
                                                                                           servicing containers
                                                                                           or systems to be used
                                                                                           in total flooding
                                                                                           applications, EPA
                                                                                           recommends the
                                                                                           following:
                                                                                          --Adequate ventilation
                                                                                           should be in place to
                                                                                           reduce airborne
                                                                                           exposure to
                                                                                           constituents of
                                                                                           agent;
                                                                                          --an eye wash fountain
                                                                                           and quick drench
                                                                                           facility should be
                                                                                           close to the
                                                                                           production area;
                                                                                          --training for safe
                                                                                           handling procedures
                                                                                           should be provided to
                                                                                           all employees that
                                                                                           would be likely to
                                                                                           handle containers of
                                                                                           the agent or
                                                                                           extinguishing units
                                                                                           filled with the
                                                                                           agent;
                                                                                          --workers responsible
                                                                                           for clean up should
                                                                                           allow for maximum
                                                                                           settling of all
                                                                                           particulates before
                                                                                           reentering area and
                                                                                           wear appropriate
                                                                                           protective equipment;
                                                                                           and
                                                                                          --all spills should be
                                                                                           cleaned up
                                                                                           immediately in
                                                                                           accordance with good
                                                                                           industrial hygiene
                                                                                           practices.
                                                                                          --See additional
                                                                                           comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                           5.
Total flooding.................  Phosphorous        Acceptable         For use only in    For establishments
                                  Tribromide         subject to use     aircraft engine    manufacturing the
                                  (PBr3).            conditions..       nacelles..         agent or filling,
                                                                                           installing, or
                                                                                           servicing containers
                                                                                           or systems, EPA
                                                                                           recommends the
                                                                                           following:
                                                                                          --Adequate ventilation
                                                                                           should be in place
                                                                                           and/or positive
                                                                                           pressure, self-
                                                                                           contained breathing
                                                                                           apparatus (SCBA)
                                                                                           should be worn;
                                                                                          --training for safe
                                                                                           handling procedures
                                                                                           should be provided to
                                                                                           all employees that
                                                                                           would be likely to
                                                                                           handle containers of
                                                                                           the agent or
                                                                                           extinguishing units
                                                                                           filled with the
                                                                                           agent; and
                                                                                          --all spills should be
                                                                                           cleaned up
                                                                                           immediately in
                                                                                           accordance with good
                                                                                           industrial hygiene
                                                                                           practices.
                                                                                          --See additional
                                                                                           comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                           5.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
1--Should conform to relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and
  1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the
  area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance
  requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and
  recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective
  equipment (e.g., respiratory protection), fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other
  occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.

0
8. Appendix Q to subpart G of part 82 is revised to read as follows:

Appendix Q to Subpart G of Part 82--Unacceptable Substitutes Listed in 
the March 28, 2007 Final Rule, Effective May 29, 2007

[[Page 22897]]



                                      Foam Blowing Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End use                      Substitute                  Decision             Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--Rigid polyurethane commercial      HCFC-22, HCFC-142b as   Unacceptable \1\...........  Alternatives exist
 refrigeration                        substitutes for HCFC-  Closed cell foam products     with lower or zero-
--Rigid polyurethane sandwich         141b.                   and products containing      ODP.
 panels                                                       closed cell foams
--Rigid polyurethane slabstock and                            manufactured with these
 other foams                                                  substitutes on or before
                                                              [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER
                                                              PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
                                                              may be used after that
                                                              date..
--Rigid polyurethane and             HCFC-22, HCFC-142b as   Unacceptable \2\...........  Alternatives exist
 polyisocyanurate laminated           substitutes for CFCs.  Closed cell foam products     with lower or zero-
 boardstock                                                   and products containing      ODP.
--Rigid polyurethane appliance                                closed cell foams
--Rigid polyurethane spray and                                manufactured with these
 commercial refrigeration, and                                substitutes on or before
 sandwich panels                                              [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER
--Rigid polyurethane slabstock and                            PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
 other foams                                                  may be used after that
--Polystyrene extruded insulation                             date..
 boardstock and billet
--Phenolic insulation board and
 bunstock
--Flexible polyurethane
--Polystyrene extruded sheet
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ For existing users of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as of November 4, 2005 other than in marine applications, the
  unacceptability determination is effective on March 1, 2008; for existing users of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as of
  November 4, 2005 in marine applications, including marine flotation foam, the unacceptability determination is
  effective on September 1, 2009. For an existing user of HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b that currently operates in only
  one facility that it does not own, and is scheduled to transition to a non-ODS, flammable alternative to
  coincide with a move to a new facility and installation of new process equipment that cannot be completed by
  March 1, 2008, the unacceptability determination is effective January 1, 2010.
\2\ For existing users of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b in polystyrene extruded insulation boardstock and billet and the
  other foam end uses, as of November 4, 2005, the unacceptability determination is effective on January 1,
  2010.

0
9. Appendix U to subpart G of part 82 is amended by revising the tables 
titled ``Foam Blowing Agents--Substitutes Acceptable Subject to 
Narrowed Use Limits'' and ``Unacceptable Substitutes'' to read as 
follows:

Appendix U to Subpart G of Part 82--Unacceptable Substitutes and 
Substitutes Subject to Use Restrictions Listed in the July 20, 2015 
Final Rule, Effective September 18, 2015

* * * * *

                   Foam Blowing Agents--Substitutes Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                Substitute         Decision       Narrowed use limits    Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rigid Polyurethane: Appliance.  HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
                                 245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2020,       document and retain
                                 365mfc and        Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 and Formacel Z-                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 6.                                  2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Rigid Polyurethane: Commercial  HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 Refrigeration and Sandwich      245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2020,       document and retain
 Panels.                         365mfc, and       Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 and Formacel Z-                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 6.                                  2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.

[[Page 22898]]

 
Flexible Polyurethane.........  HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
                                 245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2017,       document and retain
                                 365mfc, and       Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof.   Limits.           2022 in military       technical
                                                                     applications and       investigation of
                                                                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                                                     2025 in space- and     purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Rigid Polyurethane: Slabstock   HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 and Other.                      245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2019,       document and retain
                                 365mfc and        Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 and Formacel Z-                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 6.                                  2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Rigid Polyurethane and          HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 Polyisocyanurate Laminated      245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2017,       document and retain
 Boardstock.                     365mfc and        Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof.   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                                                     applications and       investigation of
                                                                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                                                     2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Rigid Polyurethane: Marine      HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 Flotation Foam.                 245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2020,       document and retain
                                 365mfc and        Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 and Formacel Z-                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 6.                                  2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Polystyrene: Extruded Sheet...  HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
                                 245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2017,       document and retain
                                 365mfc, and       Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 and Formacel Z-                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 6.                                  2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.

[[Page 22899]]

 
Polystyrene: Extruded           HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 Boardstock and Billet.          245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2021,       document and retain
                                 365mfc, and       Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 Formacel B, and                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 Formacel Z-6.                       2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Integral Skin Polyurethane....  HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
                                 245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2017,       document and retain
                                 365mfc, and       Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 and Formacel Z-                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 6.                                  2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Polyolefin....................  HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
                                 245fa, HFC-       Subject to        January 1, 2020,       document and retain
                                 365mfc, and       Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends thereof;   Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 Formacel TI,                        applications and       investigation of
                                 and Formacel Z-                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                 6.                                  2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
Phenolic Insulation Board and   HFC-143a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 Bunstock.                       134a, HFC-        Subject to        January 1, 2017,       document and retain
                                 245fa, HFC-       Narrowed Use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 365mfc, and       Limits.           2022, in military      technical
                                 blends thereof.                     applications and       investigation of
                                                                     until January 1,       alternatives for the
                                                                     2025, in space- and    purpose of
                                                                     aeronautics-related    demonstrating
                                                                     applications where     compliance.
                                                                     reasonable efforts     Information should
                                                                     have been made to      include descriptions
                                                                     ascertain that other   of:
                                                                     alternatives are not   Process or
                                                                     technically feasible   product in which the
                                                                     due to performance     substitute is
                                                                     or safety              needed;
                                                                     requirements.          Substitutes
                                                                                            examined and
                                                                                            rejected;
                                                                                            Reason for
                                                                                            rejection of other
                                                                                            alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                            performance,
                                                                                            technical or safety
                                                                                            standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                            Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                    Substitute                  Decision               Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All Foam Blowing End-uses....  HCFC-141b and blends     Unacceptable effective       HCFC-141b has an ozone
                                thereof.                 September 18, 2015. Closed   depletion potential of
                                                         cell foam products and       0.11 under the Montreal
                                                         products containing closed   Protocol. EPA previously
                                                         cell foams manufactured      found HCFC-141b
                                                         with these substitutes on    unacceptable in all foam
                                                         or before [DATE ONE YEAR     blowing end-uses (appendix
                                                         AFTER PUBLICATION OF FINAL   M to subpart G of 40 CFR
                                                         RULE] may be used after      part 82). HCFC-141b has an
                                                         that date.                   ozone depletion potential
                                                                                      (ODP) of 0.11.
All Foam Blowing End-uses....  HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, and  Unacceptable effective       Use or introduction into
                                blends thereof.          September 18, 2015. Closed   interstate commerce of
                                                         cell foam products and       virgin HCFC-22 and HCFC-
                                                         products containing closed   142b for foam blowing is
                                                         cell foams manufactured      prohibited after January
                                                         with these substitutes on    1, 2010 under EPA's
                                                         or before [DATE ONE YEAR     regulations at 40 CFR part
                                                         AFTER PUBLICATION OF FINAL   82 subpart A unless used,
                                                         RULE] may be used after      recovered, and recycled.
                                                         that date.                   These compounds have ODPs
                                                                                      of 0.055 and 0.065,
                                                                                      respectively.

[[Page 22900]]

 
Flexible Polyurethane.         HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
                                HFC-365mfc, and blends   1, 2017 except where         have global warming
                                thereof.                 allowed under a narrowed     potentials (GWPs) ranging
                                                         use limit.                   from 725 to 1,430. Other
                                                                                      substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Polystyrene: Extruded Sheet..  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
                                HFC-365mfc, and blends   1, 2017, except where        have GWPs ranging from
                                thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 370 to
                                and Formacel Z-6.        use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                                        Closed cell foam products     substitutes will be
                                                         and products containing      available for this end-use
                                                         closed cell foams            with lower overall risk to
                                                         manufactured with these      human health and the
                                                         substitutes on or before     environment by the status
                                                         [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER         change date.
                                                         PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
                                                         may be used after that
                                                         date.
Phenolic Insulation Board and  HFC-143a, HFC-134a, HFC- Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
 Bunstock.                      245fa, HFC-365mfc, and   1, 2017, except where        have GWPs ranging from 725
                                blends thereof.          allowed under a narrowed     to 4,470. Other
                                                         use limit.                   substitutes will be
                                                        Closed cell foam products     available for this end-use
                                                         and products containing      with lower overall risk to
                                                         closed cell foams            human health and the
                                                         manufactured with these      environment by the status
                                                         substitutes on or before     change date.
                                                         [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
                                                         may be used after that
                                                         date.
Integral Skin Polyurethane...  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
                                HFC-365mfc, and blends   1, 2017, except where        have GWPs ranging from
                                thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 370 to
                                and Formacel Z-6.        use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                                                                      substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Rigid Polyurethane: Slabstock  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
 and Other.                     HFC-365mfc and blends    1, 2019, except where        have GWPs ranging from
                                thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 370 to
                                and Formacel Z-6.        use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                                        Closed cell foam products     substitutes will be
                                                         and products containing      available for this end-use
                                                         closed cell foams            with lower overall risk to
                                                         manufactured with these      human health and the
                                                         substitutes on or before     environment by the status
                                                         January 1, 2019, may be      change date.
                                                         used after that date.
Rigid Polyurethane and         HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
 Polyisocyanurate Laminated     HFC-365mfc and blends    1, 2017, except where        have GWPs ranging from 725
 Boardstock.                    thereof.                 allowed under a narrowed     to 1,430. Other
                                                         use limit.                   substitutes will be
                                                        Closed cell foam products     available for this end-use
                                                         and products containing      with lower overall risk to
                                                         closed cell foams            human health and the
                                                         manufactured with these      environment by the status
                                                         substitutes on or before     change date.
                                                         [DATE ONE YEAR AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE]
                                                         may be used after that
                                                         date..
Rigid Polyurethane: Marine     HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
 Flotation Foam.                HFC-365mfc and blends    1, 2020 except where         have GWPs ranging from
                                thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 370 to
                                and Formacel Z-6.        use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                                        Closed cell foam products     substitutes will be
                                                         and products containing      available for this end-use
                                                         closed cell foams            with lower overall risk to
                                                         manufactured with these      human health and the
                                                         substitutes on or before     environment by the status
                                                         January 1, 2020, may be      change date.
                                                         used after that date..
Rigid Polyurethane:            HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
 Commercial Refrigeration and   HFC-365mfc, and blends   1, 2020 except where         have GWPs ranging from
 Sandwich Panels.               thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 370 to
                                and Formacel Z-6.        use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                                        Closed cell foam products     substitutes will be
                                                         and products containing      available for this end-use
                                                         closed cell foams            with lower overall risk to
                                                         manufactured with these      human health and the
                                                         substitutes on or before     environment by the status
                                                         January 1, 2020, may be      change date.
                                                         used after that date..
Rigid Polyurethane: Appliance  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
                                HFC-365mfc and blends    1, 2020, except where        have GWPs ranging from
                                thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 370 to
                                and Formacel Z-6.        use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                                        Closed cell foam products     substitutes will be
                                                         and products containing      available for this end-use
                                                         closed cell foams            with lower overall risk to
                                                         manufactured with these      human health and the
                                                         substitutes on or before     environment by the status
                                                         January 1, 2020, may be      change date.
                                                         used after that date..
Polystyrene: Extruded          HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
 Boardstock and Billet.         HFC-365mfc, and blends   1, 2021, except where        have GWPs ranging from
                                thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 140 to
                                Formacel B, and          use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                Formacel Z-6.           Closed cell foam products     substitutes will be
                                                         and products containing      available for this end-use
                                                         closed cell foams            with lower overall risk to
                                                         manufactured with these      human health and the
                                                         substitutes on or before     environment by the status
                                                         January 1, 2021, may be      change date.
                                                         used after that date..
Polyolefin...................  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,     Unacceptable as of January   These foam blowing agents
                                HFC-365mfc, and blends   1, 2020, except where        have GWPs ranging from
                                thereof; Formacel TI,    allowed under a narrowed     higher than 370 to
                                and Formacel Z-6.        use limit.                   approximately 1,500. Other
                                                        Closed cell foam products     substitutes will be
                                                         and products containing      available for this end-use
                                                         closed cell foams            with lower overall risk to
                                                         manufactured with these      human health and the
                                                         substitutes on or before     environment by the status
                                                         January 1, 2020, may be      change date.
                                                         used after that date..
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 22901]]

* * * * *
0
10. Add appendix V to subpart G of part 82, to read as follows:

Appendix V to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Subject to Use 
Restrictions and Unacceptable Substitutes Listed in the [DATE OF 
PUBLICATION OF FINAL RULE IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER] Final Rule

                               Refrigerants--Acceptable Subject to Use Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                Substitute         Decision          Use Conditions      Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commercial ice machines (self-  Propane (R-290).  Acceptable,       As of [date 30 days    Applicable OSHA
 contained) (new only).                            subject to use    after publication of   requirements at 29
                                                   conditions.       final rule]:           CFR part 1910 must
                                                                    This refrigerant may    be followed,
                                                                     be used only in new    including those at
                                                                     equipment designed     29 CFR 1910.106
                                                                     specifically and       (flammable and
                                                                     clearly identified     combustible
                                                                     for the refrigerant--  liquids), 1910.110
                                                                     i.e., this             (storage and
                                                                     refrigerant may not    handling of
                                                                     be used as a           liquefied petroleum
                                                                     conversion or          gases), 1910.157
                                                                     ``retrofit''           (portable fire
                                                                     refrigerant for        extinguishers), and
                                                                     existing equipment..   1910.1000 (toxic and
                                                                                            hazardous
                                                                                            substances).
                                                                    This refrigerant may   Proper ventilation
                                                                     be used only in self-  should be maintained
                                                                     contained commercial   at all times during
                                                                     ice machines that      the manufacture and
                                                                     meet all               storage of equipment
                                                                     requirements listed    containing
                                                                     in Supplement SA to    hydrocarbon
                                                                     UL 563.1 2 5 In        refrigerants through
                                                                     cases where this       adherence to good
                                                                     rule includes          manufacturing
                                                                     requirements more      practices as per 29
                                                                     stringent than those   CFR 1910.106. If
                                                                     in UL 563, the         refrigerant levels
                                                                     equipment must meet    in the air
                                                                     the requirements of    surrounding the
                                                                     the final rule in      equipment rise above
                                                                     place of the           one-fourth of the
                                                                     requirements in the    lower flammability
                                                                     UL Standard.           limit, the space
                                                                    The charge size must    should be evacuated
                                                                     not exceed 150 g       and re-entry should
                                                                     (5.29 oz) in each      occur only after the
                                                                     refrigerant circuit    space has been
                                                                     of a commercial ice    properly ventilated.
                                                                     machine..
                                                                    As provided in         Technicians and
                                                                     clauses SA6.1.1 and    equipment
                                                                     SA6.1.2 of UL 563,     manufacturers should
                                                                     the following          wear appropriate
                                                                     markings must be       personal protective
                                                                     attached at the        equipment, including
                                                                     locations provided     chemical goggles and
                                                                     and must be            protective gloves,
                                                                     permanent:             when handling these
                                                                                            refrigerants.
                                                                                            Special care should
                                                                                            be taken to avoid
                                                                                            contact with the
                                                                                            skin since these
                                                                                            refrigerants, like
                                                                                            many refrigerants,
                                                                                            can cause freeze
                                                                                            burns on the skin.
                                                                    (a) ``DANGER--Risk of  A Class B dry powder
                                                                     Fire or Explosion.     type fire
                                                                     Flammable              extinguisher should
                                                                     Refrigerant Used. Do   be kept nearby.
                                                                     Not Use Mechanical     Technicians should
                                                                     Devices To Defrost     only use spark-proof
                                                                     Refrigerator. Do Not   tools when working
                                                                     Puncture Refrigerant   on refrigerators and
                                                                     Tubing.'' This         freezers with these
                                                                     marking must be        refrigerants.
                                                                     provided on or near
                                                                     any evaporators that
                                                                     can be contacted by
                                                                     the consumer.
                                                                    (b) ``DANGER--Risk of  Any recovery
                                                                     Fire or Explosion.     equipment used
                                                                     Flammable              should be designed
                                                                     Refrigerant Used. To   for flammable
                                                                     Be Repaired Only By    refrigerants.
                                                                     Trained Service       Any refrigerant
                                                                     Personnel. Do Not      releases should be
                                                                     Puncture Refrigerant   in a well-ventilated
                                                                     Tubing.'' This         area, such as
                                                                     marking must be        outside of a
                                                                     located near the       building.
                                                                     machine compartment.
                                                                    (c) ``CAUTION--Risk    Only technicians
                                                                     of Fire or             specifically trained
                                                                     Explosion. Flammable   in handling
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.      flammable
                                                                     Consult Repair         refrigerants should
                                                                     Manual/Owner's Guide   service
                                                                     Before Attempting To   refrigerators and
                                                                     Service This           freezers containing
                                                                     Product. All Safety    these refrigerants.
                                                                     Precautions Must be    Technicians should
                                                                     Followed.'' This       gain an
                                                                     marking must be        understanding of
                                                                     located near the       minimizing the risk
                                                                     machine compartment.   of fire and the
                                                                                            steps to use
                                                                                            flammable
                                                                                            refrigerants safely.
                                                                    (d) ``CAUTION--Risk    Room occupants should
                                                                     of Fire or             evacuate the space
                                                                     Explosion. Dispose     immediately
                                                                     of Properly In         following the
                                                                     Accordance With        accidental release
                                                                     Federal Or Local       of this refrigerant.
                                                                     Regulations.          If a service port is
                                                                     Flammable              added then retail
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.''    food refrigerators
                                                                     This marking must be   and freezers using
                                                                     provided on the        these refrigerants
                                                                     exterior of the        should have service
                                                                     refrigeration          aperture fittings
                                                                     equipment.             that differ from
                                                                    (e) ``CAUTION--Risk     fittings used in
                                                                     of Fire or Explosion   equipment or
                                                                     Due To Puncture Of     containers using non-
                                                                     Refrigerant Tubing;    flammable
                                                                     Follow Handling        refrigerant.
                                                                     Instructions           ``Differ'' means
                                                                     Carefully. Flammable   that either the
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.''    diameter differs by
                                                                     This marking must be   at least \1/16\ inch
                                                                     provided near all      or the thread
                                                                     exposed refrigerant    direction is
                                                                     tubing..               reversed (i.e.,
                                                                    All of these markings   right-handed vs.
                                                                     must be in letters     left-handed). These
                                                                     no less than 6.4 mm    different fittings
                                                                     (\1/4\ inch) high..    should be
                                                                                            permanently affixed
                                                                                            to the unit at the
                                                                                            point of service and
                                                                                            maintained until the
                                                                                            end-of-life of the
                                                                                            unit, and should not
                                                                                            be accessed with an
                                                                                            adaptor.

[[Page 22902]]

 
                                                                    The equipment must
                                                                     have red Pantone
                                                                     Matching System
                                                                     (PMS) #185 marked
                                                                     pipes, hoses, or
                                                                     other devices
                                                                     through which the
                                                                     refrigerant passes,
                                                                     to indicate the use
                                                                     of a flammable
                                                                     refrigerant. This
                                                                     color must be
                                                                     applied at all
                                                                     service ports and
                                                                     other parts of the
                                                                     system where service
                                                                     puncturing or other
                                                                     actions creating an
                                                                     opening from the
                                                                     refrigerant circuit
                                                                     to the atmosphere
                                                                     might be expected
                                                                     and must extend a
                                                                     minimum of one (1)
                                                                     inch in both
                                                                     directions from such
                                                                     locations.
Very low temperature            Propane (R-290).  Acceptable,       As of [date 30 days    Applicable OSHA
 refrigeration equipment (new                      subject to use    after publication of   requirements at 29
 only).                                            conditions.       final rule]:           CFR part 1910 must
                                                                    This refrigerant may    be followed,
                                                                     be used only in new    including those at
                                                                     equipment designed     29 CFR 1910.94
                                                                     specifically and       (ventilation) and
                                                                     clearly identified     1910.106 (flammable
                                                                     for the refrigerant--  and combustible
                                                                     i.e., this             liquids), 1910.110
                                                                     refrigerant may not    (storage and
                                                                     be used as a           handling of
                                                                     conversion or          liquefied petroleum
                                                                     ``retrofit''           gases), 1910.157
                                                                     refrigerant for        (portable fire
                                                                     existing equipment..   extinguishers), and
                                                                                            1910.1000 (toxic and
                                                                                            hazardous
                                                                                            substances).
                                                                    This refrigerant may   Proper ventilation
                                                                     only be used in        should be maintained
                                                                     equipment that meets   at all times during
                                                                     all requirements in    the manufacture and
                                                                     Supplement SB to UL    storage of equipment
                                                                     471.1 2 4 In cases     containing
                                                                     where the final rule   hydrocarbon
                                                                     includes               refrigerants through
                                                                     requirements more      adherence to good
                                                                     stringent than those   manufacturing
                                                                     of UL 471, the         practices as per 29
                                                                     appliance must meet    CFR 1910.106. If
                                                                     the requirements of    refrigerant levels
                                                                     the final rule in      in the air
                                                                     place of the           surrounding the
                                                                     requirements in the    equipment rise above
                                                                     UL Standard.           one-fourth of the
                                                                    The charge size for     lower flammability
                                                                     the equipment must     limit, the space
                                                                     not exceed 150 grams   should be evacuated
                                                                     (5.29 ounces) in       and re-entry should
                                                                     each refrigerant       occur only after the
                                                                     circuit of the very    space has been
                                                                     low temperature        properly ventilated.
                                                                     refrigeration
                                                                     equipment..
                                                                    As provided in         Technicians and
                                                                     clauses SB6.1.2 to     equipment
                                                                     SB6.1.5 of UL 471,     manufacturers should
                                                                     the following          wear appropriate
                                                                     markings must be       personal protective
                                                                     attached at the        equipment, including
                                                                     locations provided     chemical goggles and
                                                                     and must be            protective gloves,
                                                                     permanent:             when handling
                                                                    (a) ``DANGER--Risk of   ethane. Special care
                                                                     Fire or Explosion.     should be taken to
                                                                     Flammable              avoid contact with
                                                                     Refrigerant Used. Do   the skin since
                                                                     Not Use Mechanical     ethane, like many
                                                                     Devices To Defrost     refrigerants, can
                                                                     Refrigerator. Do Not   cause freeze burns
                                                                     Puncture Refrigerant   on the skin.
                                                                     Tubing.'' This        A Class B dry powder
                                                                     marking must be        type fire
                                                                     provided on or near    extinguisher should
                                                                     any evaporators that   be kept nearby.
                                                                     can be contacted by
                                                                     the consumer..
                                                                    (b) ``DANGER--Risk of  Technicians should
                                                                     Fire or Explosion.     only use spark-proof
                                                                     Flammable              tools when working
                                                                     Refrigerant Used. To   on equipment with
                                                                     Be Repaired Only By    flammable
                                                                     Trained Service        refrigerants.
                                                                     Personnel. Do Not     Any recovery
                                                                     Puncture Refrigerant   equipment used
                                                                     Tubing.'' This         should be designed
                                                                     marking must be        for flammable
                                                                     located near the       refrigerants. Any
                                                                     machine compartment.   refrigerant releases
                                                                    (c) ``CAUTION--Risk     should be in a well-
                                                                     of Fire or             ventilated area,
                                                                     Explosion. Flammable   such as outside of a
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.      building. Only
                                                                     Consult Repair         technicians
                                                                     Manual/Owner's Guide   specifically trained
                                                                     Before Attempting To   in handling
                                                                     Service This           flammable
                                                                     Product. All Safety    refrigerants should
                                                                     Precautions Must be    service equipment
                                                                     Followed.'' This       containing ethane.
                                                                     marking must be        Technicians should
                                                                     located near the       gain an
                                                                     machine compartment..  understanding of
                                                                                            minimizing the risk
                                                                                            of fire and the
                                                                                            steps to use
                                                                                            flammable
                                                                                            refrigerants safely.
                                                                    (d) ``CAUTION--Risk    Room occupants should
                                                                     of Fire or             evacuate the space
                                                                     Explosion. Dispose     immediately
                                                                     of Properly In         following the
                                                                     Accordance With        accidental release
                                                                     Federal Or Local       of this refrigerant.
                                                                     Regulations.          If a service port is
                                                                     Flammable              added then retail
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.''    food refrigerators
                                                                     This marking must be   and freezers using
                                                                     provided on the        these refrigerants
                                                                     exterior of the        should have service
                                                                     refrigeration          aperture fittings
                                                                     equipment.             that differ from
                                                                    (e) ``CAUTION--Risk     fittings used in
                                                                     of Fire or Explosion   equipment or
                                                                     Due To Puncture Of     containers using non-
                                                                     Refrigerant Tubing;    flammable
                                                                     Follow Handling        refrigerant.
                                                                     Instructions           ``Differ'' means
                                                                     Carefully. Flammable   that either the
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.''    diameter differs by
                                                                     This marking must be   at least \1/16\ inch
                                                                     provided near all      or the thread
                                                                     exposed refrigerant    direction is
                                                                     tubing..               reversed (i.e.,
                                                                    All of these markings   right-handed vs.
                                                                     must be in letters     left-handed). These
                                                                     no less than 6.4 mm    different fittings
                                                                     (\1/4\ inch) high.     should be
                                                                                            permanently affixed
                                                                                            to the unit at the
                                                                                            point of service and
                                                                                            maintained until the
                                                                                            end-of-life of the
                                                                                            unit, and should not
                                                                                            be accessed with an
                                                                                            adaptor.

[[Page 22903]]

 
                                                                    The equipment must     Very low temperature
                                                                     have red PMS #185      equipment using
                                                                     marked pipes, hoses,   propane may also use
                                                                     or other devices       another acceptable
                                                                     through which the      refrigerant
                                                                     refrigerant passes,    substitute in a
                                                                     to indicate the use    separate refrigerant
                                                                     of a flammable         circuit or stage
                                                                     refrigerant. This      (e.g., one
                                                                     color must be          temperature stage
                                                                     applied at all         with propane and a
                                                                     service ports and      second stage with
                                                                     other parts of the     ethane).
                                                                     system where service
                                                                     puncturing or other
                                                                     actions creating an
                                                                     opening from the
                                                                     refrigerant circuit
                                                                     to the atmosphere
                                                                     might be expected
                                                                     and must extend a
                                                                     minimum of one (1)
                                                                     inch in both
                                                                     directions from such
                                                                     locations.
Water coolers (new only)......  Propane (R-290).  Acceptable,       As of [date 30 days    Applicable OSHA
                                                   subject to use    after publication of   requirements at 29
                                                   conditions.       final rule]:           CFR part 1910 must
                                                                    This refrigerant may    be followed,
                                                                     be used only in new    including those at
                                                                     equipment designed     29 CFR 1910.94
                                                                     specifically and       (ventilation) and
                                                                     clearly identified     1910.106 (flammable
                                                                     for the refrigerant--  and combustible
                                                                     i.e., this             liquids), 1910.110
                                                                     refrigerant may not    (storage and
                                                                     be used as a           handling of
                                                                     conversion or          liquefied petroleum
                                                                     ``retrofit''           gases), 1910.157
                                                                     refrigerant for        (portable fire
                                                                     existing equipment..   extinguishers), and
                                                                                            1910.1000 (toxic and
                                                                                            hazardous
                                                                                            substances).
                                                                    This refrigerant may   Proper ventilation
                                                                     be used only in        should be maintained
                                                                     water coolers that     at all times during
                                                                     meet all               the manufacture and
                                                                     requirements listed    storage of equipment
                                                                     in Supplement SB to    containing
                                                                     UL 399 1 2 3 In        hydrocarbon
                                                                     cases where the rule   refrigerants through
                                                                     includes               adherence to good
                                                                     requirements more      manufacturing
                                                                     stringent than those   practices as per 29
                                                                     of the UL 399, the     CFR 1910.106. If
                                                                     appliance must meet    refrigerant levels
                                                                     the requirements of    in the air
                                                                     the final rule in      surrounding the
                                                                     place of the           equipment rise above
                                                                     requirements in the    one-fourth of the
                                                                     UL Standard.           lower flammability
                                                                    The charge size must    limit, the space
                                                                     not exceed 150 grams   should be evacuated
                                                                     (5.29 ounces) per      and re-entry should
                                                                     refrigerant circuit    occur only after the
                                                                     in the water cooler..  space has been
                                                                                            properly ventilated.
                                                                    The equipment must     Technicians and
                                                                     have red PMS #185      equipment
                                                                     marked pipes, hoses,   manufacturers should
                                                                     or other devices       wear appropriate
                                                                     through which the      personal protective
                                                                     refrigerant passes,    equipment, including
                                                                     to indicate the use    chemical goggles and
                                                                     of a flammable         protective gloves,
                                                                     refrigerant. This      when handling
                                                                     color must be          ethane. Special care
                                                                     applied at all         should be taken to
                                                                     service ports and      avoid contact with
                                                                     other parts of the     the skin since
                                                                     system where service   ethane, like many
                                                                     puncturing or other    refrigerants, can
                                                                     actions creating an    cause freeze burns
                                                                     opening from the       on the skin.
                                                                     refrigerant circuit   A Class B dry powder
                                                                     to the atmosphere      type fire
                                                                     might be expected      extinguisher should
                                                                     and must extend a      be kept nearby.
                                                                     minimum of one (1)
                                                                     inch in both
                                                                     directions from such
                                                                     locations. As
                                                                     provided in clauses
                                                                     SB6.1.2 to SB6.1.5
                                                                     of UL 399, the
                                                                     following markings
                                                                     must be attached at
                                                                     the locations
                                                                     provided and must be
                                                                     permanent:
                                                                    (a) ``DANGER--Risk of  Technicians should
                                                                     Fire or Explosion.     only use spark-proof
                                                                     Flammable              tools when working
                                                                     Refrigerant Used. Do   on equipment with
                                                                     Not Use Mechanical     flammable
                                                                     Devices To Defrost     refrigerants.
                                                                     Refrigerator. Do Not  Any recovery
                                                                     Puncture Refrigerant   equipment used
                                                                     Tubing.'' This         should be designed
                                                                     marking must be        for flammable
                                                                     provided on or near    refrigerants.
                                                                     any evaporators that  Any refrigerant
                                                                     can be contacted by    releases should be
                                                                     the consumer.          in a well-ventilated
                                                                    (b) ``DANGER--Risk of   area, such as
                                                                     Fire or Explosion.     outside of a
                                                                     Flammable              building. Only
                                                                     Refrigerant Used. To   technicians
                                                                     Be Repaired Only By    specifically trained
                                                                     Trained Service        in handling
                                                                     Personnel. Do Not      flammable
                                                                     Puncture Refrigerant   refrigerants should
                                                                     Tubing.'' This         service equipment
                                                                     marking must be        containing ethane.
                                                                     located near the       Technicians should
                                                                     machine compartment..  gain an
                                                                                            understanding of
                                                                                            minimizing the risk
                                                                                            of fire and the
                                                                                            steps to use
                                                                                            flammable
                                                                                            refrigerants safely.
                                                                    (c) ``CAUTION--Risk    Room occupants should
                                                                     of Fire or             evacuate the space
                                                                     Explosion. Flammable   immediately
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.      following the
                                                                     Consult Repair         accidental release
                                                                     Manual/Owner's Guide   of this refrigerant.
                                                                     Before Attempting To
                                                                     Service This
                                                                     Product. All Safety
                                                                     Precautions Must be
                                                                     Followed.'' This
                                                                     marking must be
                                                                     located near the
                                                                     machine compartment.

[[Page 22904]]

 
                                                                    (d) ``CAUTION--Risk    If a service port is
                                                                     of Fire or             added then retail
                                                                     Explosion. Dispose     food refrigerators
                                                                     of Properly In         and freezers using
                                                                     Accordance With        these refrigerants
                                                                     Federal Or Local       should have service
                                                                     Regulations.           aperture fittings
                                                                     Flammable              that differ from
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.''    fittings used in
                                                                     This marking must be   equipment or
                                                                     provided on the        containers using non-
                                                                     exterior of the        flammable
                                                                     refrigeration          refrigerant.
                                                                     equipment.             ``Differ'' means
                                                                    (e) ``CAUTION--Risk     that either the
                                                                     of Fire or Explosion   diameter differs by
                                                                     Due To Puncture Of     at least \1/16\ inch
                                                                     Refrigerant Tubing;    or the thread
                                                                     Follow Handling        direction is
                                                                     Instructions           reversed (i.e.,
                                                                     Carefully. Flammable   right-handed vs.
                                                                     Refrigerant Used.''    left-handed). These
                                                                     This marking must be   different fittings
                                                                     provided near all      should be
                                                                     exposed refrigerant    permanently affixed
                                                                     tubing..               to the unit at the
                                                                                            point of service and
                                                                                            maintained until the
                                                                                            end-of-life of the
                                                                                            unit, and should not
                                                                                            be accessed with an
                                                                                            adaptor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Director of the Federal Register approves the materials in these footnotes for incorporation by
  reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51 You may inspect a copy at U.S. EPA's Air and
  Radiation Docket; EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington DC or at the National
  Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For questions regarding access to these standards, the telephone
  number of EPA's Air and Radiation Docket is 202-566-1742. For information on the availability of this material
  at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
\2\ Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) COMM 2000; 151 Eastern Avenue; Bensenville, IL 60106; 2000.com">[email protected]2000.com;: 1-888-853-3503 in the U.S. or Canada (other countries dial +1-415-352-2168); http://ulstandards.ul.com/ or www.comm-2000.com.
\3\ UL 399. Standard for Drinking-Water Coolers. 7th edition. Supplement SB: Requirements for Room Air
  Conditioners Employing a Flammable Refrigerant in the Refrigerating System. Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
  August 22, 2008.
\4\ UL 471. Standard for Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers. 10th edition. Supplement SB: Requirements for
  Refrigerators and Freezers Employing a Flammable Refrigerant in the Refrigerating System. Underwriters
  Laboratories, Inc. November 24, 2010.
\5\ UL 563. Standard for Ice Makers. 8th edition. Supplement SA: Requirements for Refrigerators and Freezers
  Employing a Flammable Refrigerant in the Refrigerating System. Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. July 31, 2009.


                       Refrigerants--Substitutes Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                Substitutes        Decision       Narrowed use limits    Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Centrifugal chillers (new       HFC-134a........  Acceptable        Acceptable after       Users are required to
 only).                                            subject to        January 1, 2024,       document and retain
                                                   narrowed use      only in military       the results of their
                                                   limits.           marine vessels where   technical
                                                                     reasonable efforts     investigation of
                                                                     have been made to      alternatives for the
                                                                     ascertain that other   purpose of
                                                                     alternatives are not   demonstrating
                                                                     technically feasible   compliance.
                                                                     due to performance     Information should
                                                                     or safety              include descriptions
                                                                     requirements.          of:
                                                                                            Application
                                                                                            in which the
                                                                                            substitute is
                                                                                            needed;
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Substitutes
                                                                                               examined and
                                                                                               rejected;
                                                                                               Reason
                                                                                               for rejection of
                                                                                               other
                                                                                               alternatives,
                                                                                               e.g.,
                                                                                               performance,
                                                                                               technical or
                                                                                               safety standards;
                                                                                               and/or
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Anticipated date
                                                                                               other substitutes
                                                                                               will be available
                                                                                               and qualified and
                                                                                               projected time
                                                                                               for switching.
Centrifugal chillers (new       HFC-134a and R-   Acceptable        Acceptable after       Users are required to
 only).                          404A.             subject to        January 1, 2024,       document and retain
                                                   narrowed use      only inhuman-rated     the results of their
                                                   limits.           spacecraft and         technical
                                                                     related support        investigation of
                                                                     equipment where        alternatives for the
                                                                     reasonable efforts     purpose of
                                                                     have been made to      demonstrating
                                                                     ascertain that other   compliance.
                                                                     alternatives are not   Information should
                                                                     technically feasible   include descriptions
                                                                     due to performance     of:
                                                                     or safety              Application
                                                                     requirements.          in which the
                                                                                            substitute is
                                                                                            needed;
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Substitutes
                                                                                               examined and
                                                                                               rejected;
                                                                                               Reason
                                                                                               for rejection of
                                                                                               other
                                                                                               alternatives,
                                                                                               e.g.,
                                                                                               performance,
                                                                                               technical or
                                                                                               safety standards;
                                                                                               and/or
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Anticipated date
                                                                                               other substitutes
                                                                                               will be available
                                                                                               and qualified and
                                                                                               projected time
                                                                                               for switching.
Positive displacement chillers  HFC-134a........  Acceptable        Acceptable after       Users are required to
 (new only).                                       subject to        January 1, 2024,       document and retain
                                                   narrowed use      only in military       the results of their
                                                   limits.           marine vessels where   technical
                                                                     reasonable efforts     investigation of
                                                                     have been made to      alternatives for the
                                                                     ascertain that other   purpose of
                                                                     alternatives are not   demonstrating
                                                                     technically feasible   compliance.
                                                                     due to performance     Information should
                                                                     or safety              include descriptions
                                                                     requirements.          of:
                                                                                            Application
                                                                                            in which the
                                                                                            substitute is
                                                                                            needed;

[[Page 22905]]

 
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Substitutes
                                                                                               examined and
                                                                                               rejected;
                                                                                               Reason
                                                                                               for rejection of
                                                                                               other
                                                                                               alternatives,
                                                                                               e.g.,
                                                                                               performance,
                                                                                               technical or
                                                                                               safety standards;
                                                                                               and/or
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Anticipated date
                                                                                               other substitutes
                                                                                               will be available
                                                                                               and qualified and
                                                                                               projected time
                                                                                               for switching.
Positive displacement chillers  HFC-134a and R-   Acceptable        Acceptable after       Users are required to
 (new only).                     404A.             subject to        January 1, 2024,       document and retain
                                                   narrowed use      only inhuman-rated     the results of their
                                                   limits.           spacecraft and         technical
                                                                     related support        investigation of
                                                                     equipment where        alternatives for the
                                                                     reasonable efforts     purpose of
                                                                     have been made to      demonstrating
                                                                     ascertain that other   compliance.
                                                                     alternatives are not   Information should
                                                                     technically feasible   include descriptions
                                                                     due to performance     of:
                                                                     or safety              Application
                                                                     requirements.          in which the
                                                                                            substitute is
                                                                                            needed;
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Substitutes
                                                                                               examined and
                                                                                               rejected;
                                                                                               Reason
                                                                                               for rejection of
                                                                                               other
                                                                                               alternatives,
                                                                                               e.g.,
                                                                                               performance,
                                                                                               technical or
                                                                                               safety standards;
                                                                                               and/or
                                                                                              
                                                                                               Anticipated date
                                                                                               other substitutes
                                                                                               will be available
                                                                                               and qualified and
                                                                                               projected time
                                                                                               for switching.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                     Refrigerants--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                       Substitutes                Decision           Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Centrifugal chillers (new only)...  FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a,   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
                                     HFC-227ea, HFC-236fa, HFC-  January 1, 2024        GWPs ranging from
                                     245fa, R-125/134a/600a      except where allowed   approximately 900 to
                                     (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/   under a narrowed use   9,810. Other
                                     134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/   limit.                 alternatives will be
                                     1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-                           available for this end-
                                     410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-                           use with lower overall
                                     421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-                           risk to human health and
                                     422D, R-423A, R-424A, R-                           the environment by the
                                     434A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-                          status change date.
                                     44 (2003 composition),
                                     and THR-03.
Centrifugal chillers (new only)...  Propylene (R-1270) and R-   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants are
                                     443A.                       [date 30 days after    highly photochemically
                                                                 publication of final   reactive in the lower
                                                                 rule].                 atmosphere and may
                                                                                        deteriorate local air
                                                                                        quality (that is, may
                                                                                        increase ground level
                                                                                        ozone). Other
                                                                                        alternatives are
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment.
Cold storage warehouses (new only)  HFC-227ea, R-125/290/134a/  Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
                                     600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5),   January 1, 2023.       GWPs ranging from
                                     R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-                         approximately 2,090 to
                                     410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-                           3,990. Other
                                     421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-                           alternatives will be
                                     422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-                           available for this end-
                                     423A, R-424A, R-428A, R-                           use with lower overall
                                     434A, R-438A, R-507A, and                          risk to human health and
                                     RS-44 (2003 composition).                          the environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
Cold storage warehouses (new only)  Propylene (R-1270) and R-   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants are
                                     443A.                       [date 30 days after    highly photochemically
                                                                 publication of final   reactive in the lower
                                                                 rule].                 atmosphere and may
                                                                                        deteriorate local air
                                                                                        quality (that is, may
                                                                                        increase ground level
                                                                                        ozone). Other
                                                                                        alternatives are
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment.
Household refrigerators and         FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a,   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 freezers (new only).                KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a   January 1, 2021.       GWPs ranging from
                                     (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-                            approximately 900 to
                                     404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-                           3,985. Other
                                     410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-                           alternatives will be
                                     421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-                           available for this end-
                                     422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-                           use with lower overall
                                     424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-                           risk to human health and
                                     434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-                           the environment by the
                                     507A, RS-24 (2002                                  status change date.
                                     formulation), RS-44 (2003
                                     formulation), SP34E, and
                                     THR-03.

[[Page 22906]]

 
Positive displacement chillers      FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a,   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 (new only).                         HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/     January 1, 2024        GWPs ranging from
                                     134a/600a (28.1/70/1.9),    except where allowed   approximately 900 to
                                     R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/  under a narrowed use   3,985. Other
                                     1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-   limit.                 alternatives will be
                                     407C, R-410A, R-410B, R-                           available for this end-
                                     417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-                           use with lower overall
                                     422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-                           risk to human health and
                                     434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-                           the environment by the
                                     507A, RS-44 (2003                                  status change date.
                                     composition), SP34E, and
                                     THR-03.
Positive displacement chillers      Propylene (R-1270) and R-   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants are
 (new only).                         443A.                       [date 30 days after    highly photochemically
                                                                 publication of final   reactive in the lower
                                                                 rule].                 atmosphere and may
                                                                                        deteriorate local air
                                                                                        quality (that is, may
                                                                                        increase ground level
                                                                                        ozone). Other
                                                                                        alternatives are
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment.
Residential and light commercial    Propylene (R-1270) and R-   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants are
 air conditioning and heat pumps     443A.                       [date 30 days after    highly photochemically
 (new only).                                                     publication of a       reactive in the lower
                                                                 final rule].           atmosphere and may
                                                                                        deteriorate local air
                                                                                        quality (that is, may
                                                                                        increase ground level
                                                                                        ozone). Other
                                                                                        alternatives are
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment.
Residential and light commercial    All refrigerants            Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants are
 air conditioning--unitary split     identified as               [date 30 days after    highly flammable and
 AC systems and heat pumps           flammability Class 3 in     publication of final   present a flammability
 (retrofit only).                    ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-    rule].                 risk when used in
                                     2013.1 2 3                                         equipment designed for
                                    All refrigerants meeting                            nonflammable
                                     the criteria for                                   refrigerants. Other
                                     flammability Class 3 in                            alternatives are
                                     ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-                           available for this end-
                                     2013. This includes, but                           use with lower overall
                                     is not limited to,                                 risk to human health and
                                     refrigerant products sold                          the environment.
                                     under the names R-22a,
                                     22a, Blue Sky 22a
                                     refrigerant, Coolant
                                     Express 22a, DURACOOL-
                                     22a, EC-22, Ecofreeeze EF-
                                     22a, EF-22a, Envirosafe
                                     22a, ES-22a, Frost 22a,
                                     HC-22a, Maxi-Fridge, MX-
                                     22a, Oz-Chill 22a,
                                     Priority Cool, and RED
                                     TEK 22a..
Retail food refrigeration           HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/ Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 (refrigerated food processing and   134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/   January 1, 2021.       GWPs ranging from
 dispensing equipment) (new only).   1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-                           approximately 1,770 to
                                     407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-                           3,990. Other
                                     410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-                           alternatives will be
                                     421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-                           available for this end-
                                     422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-                           use with lower overall
                                     424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-                           risk to human health and
                                     437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-                          the environment by the
                                     44 (2003 formulation).                             status change date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C.
  552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may inspect a copy at U.S. EPA's Air and Radiation Docket; EPA West Building,
  Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington DC or at the National Archives and Records Administration
  (NARA). For questions regarding access to this standard, the telephone number of EPA's Air and Radiation
  Docket is 202-566-1742. For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go
  to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.
\2\ American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 6300 Interfirst Drive,
  Ann Arbor, MI 48108; 1-800-527-4723 in the U.S. or Canada; http://www.techstreet.com/ashrae/ashrae_standards.html?ashrae_auth_token=.
\3\ ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2013: Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants, November 2013.


                   Foam Blowing Agents--Substitutes Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                Substitutes        Decision       Narrowed use limits    Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rigid PU: Spray foam--high-     HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 pressure two-component.         245fa, and        subject to        January 1, 2020,       document and retain
                                 blends thereof;   narrowed use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends of HFC-    limits.           2025, only in          technical
                                 365mfc with at                      military or space-     investigation of
                                 least four                          and aeronautics-       alternatives for the
                                 percent HFC-                        related applications   purpose of
                                 245fa, and                          where reasonable       demonstrating
                                 commercial                          efforts have been      compliance.
                                 blends of HFC-                      made to ascertain      Information should
                                 365mfc with                         that other             include descriptions
                                 seven to 13                         alternatives are not   of:
                                 percent HFC-                        technically feasible   Process or
                                 227ea and the                       due to performance     product in which the
                                 remainder HFC-                      or safety              substitute is
                                 365mfc; and                         requirements.          needed;
                                 Formacel TI.                       Closed cell foam        Substitutes
                                                                     products and           examined and
                                                                     products containing    rejected;
                                                                     closed cell foams      Reason for
                                                                     manufactured with      rejection of other
                                                                     these substitutes on   alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                     or before January 1,   performance,
                                                                     2025, may be used      technical or safety
                                                                     after that date..      standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.

[[Page 22907]]

 
Rigid PU: Spray foam--low-      HFC-134a, HFC-    Acceptable        Acceptable from        Users are required to
 pressure two-component.         245fa, and        subject to        January 1, 2021,       document and retain
                                 blends thereof;   narrowed use      until January 1,       the results of their
                                 blends of HFC-    limits.           2025, only in          technical
                                 365mfc with at                      military or space-     investigation of
                                 least four                          and aeronautics-       alternatives for the
                                 percent HFC-                        related applications   purpose of
                                 245fa, and                          where reasonable       demonstrating
                                 commercial                          efforts have been      compliance.
                                 blends of HFC-                      made to ascertain      Information should
                                 365mfc with                         that other             include descriptions
                                 seven to 13                         alternatives are not   of:
                                 percent HFC-                        technically feasible   Process or
                                 227ea and the                       due to performance     product in which the
                                 remainder HFC-                      or safety              substitute is
                                 365mfc; and                         requirements.          needed;
                                 Formacel TI.                       Closed cell foam        Substitutes
                                                                     products and           examined and
                                                                     products containing    rejected;
                                                                     closed cell foams      Reason for
                                                                     manufactured with      rejection of other
                                                                     these substitutes on   alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                     or before January 1,   performance,
                                                                     2025, may be used      technical or safety
                                                                     after that date..      standards; and/or
                                                                                            Anticipated
                                                                                            date other
                                                                                            substitutes will be
                                                                                            available and
                                                                                            projected time for
                                                                                            switching.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                  Foam Blowing Agents--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             End-use                      Substitutes                 Decision             Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Flexible PU......................  Methylene chloride.......  Unacceptable as of [date  Methylene chloride is a
                                                               30 days after             carcinogen and may
                                                               publication of final      present a toxicity
                                                               rule].                    risk. Other
                                                                                         alternatives are
                                                                                         available for this end-
                                                                                         use with lower overall
                                                                                         risk to human health
                                                                                         and the environment.
Integral Skin PU.................  Methylene chloride.......  Unacceptable as of        Methylene chloride is a
                                                               January 1, 2017.          carcinogen and may
                                                                                         present a toxicity
                                                                                         risk. Other
                                                                                         alternatives are
                                                                                         available for this end-
                                                                                         use with lower overall
                                                                                         risk to human health
                                                                                         and the environment.
Polyolefin.......................  Methylene chloride.......  Unacceptable as of        Methylene chloride is a
                                                               January 1, 2020.          carcinogen and may
                                                              Closed cell foam           present a toxicity
                                                               products and products     risk. Other
                                                               containing closed cell    alternatives are
                                                               foams manufactured with   available for this end-
                                                               this substitute on or     use with lower overall
                                                               before January 1, 2020,   risk to human health
                                                               may be used after that    and the environment.
                                                               date..
Rigid PU: Spray foam--one          HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and   Unacceptable as of        These foam blowing
 component foam sealants.           blends thereof; blends     January 1, 2020..         agents have GWPs
                                    of HFC-365mfc with at     Closed cell foam           ranging from higher
                                    least four percent HFC-    products and products     than 730 to
                                    245fa, and commercial      containing closed cell    approximately 1,500.
                                    blends of HFC-365mfc       foams manufactured with   Other alternatives will
                                    with seven to 13 percent   these substitutes on or   be available for this
                                    HFC-227ea and the          before January 1, 2020,   end-use with lower
                                    remainder HFC-365mfc;      may be used after that    overall risk to human
                                    and Formacel TI.           date..                    health and the
                                                                                         environment by the
                                                                                         status change date.
Rigid PU: Spray foam--high-        HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and   Unacceptable as of        These foam blowing
 pressure two-component.            blends thereof; blends     January 1, 2020, except   agents have GWPs
                                    of HFC-365mfc with at      where allowed under a     ranging from higher
                                    least four percent HFC-    narrowed use limit.       than 730 to
                                    245fa, and commercial     Closed cell foam           approximately 1,500.
                                    blends of HFC-365mfc       products and products     Other alternatives will
                                    with seven to 13 percent   containing closed cell    be available for this
                                    HFC-227ea and the          foams manufactured with   end-use with lower
                                    remainder HFC-365mfc;      these substitutes on or   overall risk to human
                                    and Formacel TI.           before January 1, 2020,   health and the
                                                               may be used after that    environment by the
                                                               date..                    status change date.
Rigid PU: Spray foam--low-         HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, and   Unacceptable as of        These foam blowing
 pressure two-component.            blends thereof; blends     January 1, 2021, except   agents have GWPs
                                    of HFC-365mfc with at      where allowed under a     ranging from higher
                                    least four percent HFC-    narrowed use limit.       than 730 to
                                    245fa, and commercial     Closed cell foam           approximately 1,500.
                                    blends of HFC-365mfc       products and products     Other alternatives will
                                    with seven to 13 percent   containing closed cell    be available for this
                                    HFC-227ea and the          foams manufactured with   end-use with lower
                                    remainder HFC-365mfc;      these substitutes on or   overall risk to human
                                    and Formacel TI.           before January 1, 2020,   health and the
                                                               may be used after that    environment by the
                                                               date..                    status change date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


             Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Agents--Acceptable Subject to Use Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                  Substitute          Decision        Use conditions     Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Streaming......................  2-BTP............  Acceptable,        As of [date 30     This fire suppressant
                                                     subject to use     days after         has a relatively low
                                                     conditions.        publication of     GWP of 0.23-0.26 and
                                                                        final rule],       a short atmospheric
                                                                        acceptable only    lifetime of
                                                                        for use in         approximately seven
                                                                        handheld           days.
                                                                        extinguishers in  This agent is subject
                                                                        aircraft.          to requirements
                                                                                           contained in a Toxic
                                                                                           Substance Control Act
                                                                                           (TSCA) section 5(e)
                                                                                           Consent Order and any
                                                                                           subsequent TSCA
                                                                                           section 5(a)(2)
                                                                                           Significant New Use
                                                                                           Rule (SNUR).

[[Page 22908]]

 
                                                                                          For establishments
                                                                                           manufacturing,
                                                                                           installing and
                                                                                           maintaining handheld
                                                                                           extinguishers using
                                                                                           this agent:
                                                                                          (1) Use of this agent
                                                                                           should be used in
                                                                                           accordance with the
                                                                                           latest edition of
                                                                                           NFPA Standard 10 for
                                                                                           Portable Fire
                                                                                           Extinguishers;
                                                                                          (2) In the case that 2-
                                                                                           BTP is inhaled,
                                                                                           person(s) should be
                                                                                           immediately removed
                                                                                           and exposed to fresh
                                                                                           air; if breathing is
                                                                                           difficult, person(s)
                                                                                           should seek medical
                                                                                           attention;
                                                                                          (3) Eye wash and quick
                                                                                           drench facilities
                                                                                           should be available.
                                                                                           In case of ocular
                                                                                           exposure, person(s)
                                                                                           should immediately
                                                                                           flush the eyes,
                                                                                           including under the
                                                                                           eyelids, with fresh
                                                                                           water and move to a
                                                                                           non-contaminated
                                                                                           area.
                                                                                          Exposed person(s)
                                                                                           should remove all
                                                                                           contaminated clothing
                                                                                           and footwear to avoid
                                                                                           irritation, and
                                                                                           medical attention
                                                                                           should be sought if
                                                                                           irritation develops
                                                                                           or persists;
                                                                                          (4) Although unlikely,
                                                                                           in case of ingestion
                                                                                           of 2-BTP, the
                                                                                           person(s) should
                                                                                           consult a physician
                                                                                           immediately;
                                                                                          (5) Manufacturing
                                                                                           space should be
                                                                                           equipped with
                                                                                           specialized
                                                                                           engineering controls
                                                                                           and well ventilated
                                                                                           with a local exhaust
                                                                                           system and low-lying
                                                                                           source ventilation to
                                                                                           effectively mitigate
                                                                                           potential
                                                                                           occupational
                                                                                           exposure; regular
                                                                                           testing and
                                                                                           monitoring of the
                                                                                           workplace atmosphere
                                                                                           should be conducted;
                                                                                          (6) Employees
                                                                                           responsible for
                                                                                           chemical processing
                                                                                           should wear the
                                                                                           appropriate PPE, such
                                                                                           as protective gloves,
                                                                                           tightly sealed
                                                                                           goggles, protective
                                                                                           work clothing, and
                                                                                           suitable respiratory
                                                                                           protection in case of
                                                                                           accidental release or
                                                                                           insufficient
                                                                                           ventilation;
                                                                                          (7) All spills should
                                                                                           be cleaned up
                                                                                           immediately in
                                                                                           accordance with good
                                                                                           industrial hygiene
                                                                                           practices; and
                                                                                          (8) Training for safe
                                                                                           handling procedures
                                                                                           should be provided to
                                                                                           all employees that
                                                                                           would be likely to
                                                                                           handle containers of
                                                                                           the agent or
                                                                                           extinguishing units
                                                                                           filled with the
                                                                                           agent.
                                                                                          (9) 2-BTP use as a
                                                                                           streaming fire
                                                                                           extinguishing agent
                                                                                           in handheld
                                                                                           extinguishers in
                                                                                           aircraft should be in
                                                                                           accordance with UL
                                                                                           711, Rating and
                                                                                           Testing of Fire
                                                                                           Extinguishers and the
                                                                                           Federal Aviation
                                                                                           Administration (FAA)
                                                                                           Minimum Performance
                                                                                           Standard for Hand-
                                                                                           Held Extinguishers
                                                                                           (DOT/FAA/AR-01/37),
                                                                                           with regard to the
                                                                                           size and number of
                                                                                           extinguishers
                                                                                           depending on the size
                                                                                           of aircraft.
                                                                                          (10) 2-BTP handheld
                                                                                           extinguishers should
                                                                                           follow required
                                                                                           minimum room volumes
                                                                                           established by UL
                                                                                           2129, Halocarbon
                                                                                           Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                           Extinguishers, when
                                                                                           discharged into a
                                                                                           confined space.
Total flooding.................  2-BTP............  Acceptable,        As of [date 30     This fire suppressant
                                                     subject to use     days after         has a relatively low
                                                     conditions.        publication of     GWP of 0.23-0.26 and
                                                                        final rule],       a short atmospheric
                                                                        acceptable only    lifetime of
                                                                        for use in         approximately seven
                                                                        engine nacelles    days. This agent is
                                                                        and auxiliary      subject to
                                                                        power units on     requirements
                                                                        aircraft.          contained in a TSCA
                                                                                           section 5(e) Consent
                                                                                           Order and any
                                                                                           subsequent TSCA
                                                                                           section 5(a)(2) SNUR.
                                                                                          For establishments
                                                                                           manufacturing,
                                                                                           installing, and
                                                                                           servicing engine
                                                                                           nacelles and
                                                                                           auxiliary power units
                                                                                           on aircraft using
                                                                                           this agent:
                                                                                          (1) This agent should
                                                                                           be used in accordance
                                                                                           with the safety
                                                                                           guidelines in the
                                                                                           latest edition of the
                                                                                           National Fire
                                                                                           Protection
                                                                                           Association (NFPA)
                                                                                           2001 Standard for
                                                                                           Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                           Extinguishing
                                                                                           Systems;
                                                                                          (2) In the case that 2-
                                                                                           BTP is inhaled,
                                                                                           person(s) should be
                                                                                           immediately removed
                                                                                           and exposed to fresh
                                                                                           air; if breathing is
                                                                                           difficult, person(s)
                                                                                           should seek medical
                                                                                           attention;
                                                                                          (3) Eye wash and quick
                                                                                           drench facilities
                                                                                           should be available.
                                                                                           In case of ocular
                                                                                           exposure, person(s)
                                                                                           should immediately
                                                                                           flush the eyes,
                                                                                           including under the
                                                                                           eyelids, with fresh
                                                                                           water and move to a
                                                                                           non-contaminated
                                                                                           area.

[[Page 22909]]

 
                                                                                          Exposed person(s)
                                                                                           should remove all
                                                                                           contaminated clothing
                                                                                           and footwear to avoid
                                                                                           irritation, and
                                                                                           medical attention
                                                                                           should be sought if
                                                                                           irritation develops
                                                                                           or persists;
                                                                                          (4) Although unlikely,
                                                                                           in case of ingestion
                                                                                           of 2-BTP, the
                                                                                           person(s) should
                                                                                           consult a physician
                                                                                           immediately;
                                                                                          (5) Manufacturing
                                                                                           space should be
                                                                                           equipped with
                                                                                           specialized
                                                                                           engineering controls
                                                                                           and well ventilated
                                                                                           with a local exhaust
                                                                                           system and low-lying
                                                                                           source ventilation to
                                                                                           effectively mitigate
                                                                                           potential
                                                                                           occupational
                                                                                           exposure; regular
                                                                                           testing and
                                                                                           monitoring of the
                                                                                           workplace atmosphere
                                                                                           should be conducted;
                                                                                          (6) Employees
                                                                                           responsible for
                                                                                           chemical processing
                                                                                           should wear the
                                                                                           appropriate PPE, such
                                                                                           as protective gloves,
                                                                                           tightly sealed
                                                                                           goggles, protective
                                                                                           work clothing, and
                                                                                           suitable respiratory
                                                                                           protection in case of
                                                                                           accidental release or
                                                                                           insufficient
                                                                                           ventilation;
                                                                                          (7) All spills should
                                                                                           be cleaned up
                                                                                           immediately in
                                                                                           accordance with good
                                                                                           industrial hygiene
                                                                                           practices;
                                                                                          (8) Training for safe
                                                                                           handling procedures
                                                                                           should be provided to
                                                                                           all employees that
                                                                                           would be likely to
                                                                                           handle containers of
                                                                                           the agent or
                                                                                           extinguishing units
                                                                                           filled with the
                                                                                           agent;
                                                                                          (9) Safety features
                                                                                           that are typical of
                                                                                           total flooding
                                                                                           systems such as pre-
                                                                                           discharge alarms,
                                                                                           time delays, and
                                                                                           system abort switches
                                                                                           should be provided,
                                                                                           as directed by
                                                                                           applicable OSHA
                                                                                           regulations and NFPA
                                                                                           standards; use of
                                                                                           this agent should
                                                                                           also conform to
                                                                                           relevant OSHA
                                                                                           requirements,
                                                                                           including 29 CFR
                                                                                           1910, subpart L,
                                                                                           sections 1910.160 and
                                                                                           1910.162.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                   Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Agents--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                     Substitute                Decision              Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding....................  PFCs (C3F8 and C4F10)  Unacceptable as of [date    These fire suppressants
                                                            one year after              have GWPs ranging from
                                                            publication of final        8,830 to 8,860. Other
                                                            rule].                      alternatives will be
                                                           Total flooding systems       available for this end-
                                                            manufactured using these    use with lower overall
                                                            fire suppressants on or     risk to human health and
                                                            before [date one year       the environment by the
                                                            after publication of        status change date.
                                                            final rule] may be used
                                                            after that date..
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2016-08163 Filed 4-15-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P